The ECtHR, France and same-sex marriage: Chapin & Charpentier

The background

In May 2004, Mr Chapin and Mr Charpentier submitted a marriage application to the civil registry department of Bègles municipal council. The civil registrar published the notice of marriage and the public prosecutor at the Bordeaux Tribunal de Grande Instance served notice of objection to the marriage on the Bègles civil registrar and on Mr Chapin and Mr Charpentier. Despite the objection, the Mayor of Bègles performed the marriage ceremony and made an entry to that effect in the register of births, marriages and deaths. In June 2004 the public prosecutor brought proceedings against Mr Chapin and Mr Charpentier in the Bordeaux Tribunal de Grande Instance, seeking to have the marriage annulled. On 27 July 2004, the Tribunal annulled the marriage and ordered its judgment to be recorded in the margin of the parties’ birth certificates and the marriage certificate. The Bordeaux Cour d’Appel and the Cour de Cassation upheld that judgment. They lodged their complaint nine years ago: in 2013 France legalised same-sex marriage. Continue reading