Global Briefs: European Push and Pull

French women lose adoption fight, while Ben & Jerry join U.K. marriage push


Lesbian Couple Loses Adoption Appeal

Two French women have lost their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights in their fight to adopt, Pink News, ”Europe’s largest gay news service,” reported March 19.

Nathalie Dubois gave birth to the couple’s daughter via artificial insemination in 2000, and is recognized as the child’s parent. Her partner, Valérie Gas, however, has been denied the right to adopt their child.

Marriage equality does not exist in France, though the country offers Civil Solidarity Pacts (PACS), similar to civil unions or domestic partnerships in the U.S. Further, France allows joint adoption to married couples only.

The couple has argued that the discriminatory setup would allow a straight couple in their situation to adopt after marriage, while as a gay couple they are barred from the institution. The court held that an opposite-sex couple that enters into a PACS would be treated no differently than a same-sex couple, and also cited a 2010 ruling the member countries are not required to offer marriage equality.

Ben & Jerry Back Marriage in Britain

Applie-pie flavored ice cream isn’t new for Ben & Jerry’s – nor is using the brand to support marriage equality. What’s new is using this particular flavor to back same-sex marriage in the U.K. The result is temporarily named ”Apple-y Every After.”

”In 2009 we renamed our legendary flavor Chubby Hubby to ‘Hubby Hubby’ to celebrate gay marriage legalization in our home state of Vermont,” reads a Ben & Jerry’s UK press release, in part. ”This March as the U.K. government debates whether to legalize same sex marriage, we’ve partnered with gay rights organization, Stonewall, to raise awareness about the importance of marriage equality by renaming our Apple Pie flavor.”

The current government is supporting marriage equality, in the face of push back from some religious and conservative quarters, according to the BBC, which reports the government would like to have marriage equality in place before 2015 elections. The government’s push, however, would maintain a ban on religious weddings for same-sex couples.

”This is not only homophobic, but also an attack on religious freedom,” said longtime LGBT activist Peter Tatchell, BBC reports. ”While no religious body should be forced to conduct same-sex marriages, those that want to conduct them should be free to do so.”

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

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