10 Reasons to Get Married — in France

I recently spent some time in France, coinciding with the passage of the same-sex marriage law there.  I happened to be reading the latest issue of Tetu, the glossy gay French magazine, and there was an article titled “Ten Good Reasons to Get Married – or not!” and I thought it was interesting to see how folks there think about this decision.   Here’s a summary of the reasons, pro and con:

1.  Marriage offers many legal protections, beyond what non-marital cohabitation or civil union offers; however, the benefits only accrue upon divorce or death — and who wants to get divorced or die?

2.  Getting married can revitalize your relationship in a positive way – but don’t count on it saving a troubled partnership.

3.  Getting married brings gifts – but that really isn’t a good reason to imitate straight couples.

4.  Geting married greatly simplifies the process of both partners becoming legal parents – but it’s not a simple process.

5.  It’s a great excuse to have a party, but be careful – bringing all your relatives together could be a social disaster.

6.  Getting married should save you money, particularly in taxes, but it also can be expensive if you end up getting divorced.

7.  Getting married bestows social legitimacy on the couple – but it also can import the heteronormative rules (such as fidelity) in ways that are restrictive to the couple.

8.  Marriage is likely to “tame” your libido – but one wonders what that would really mean for homosexuals!

9. Your parents will certainly be pleased to see you get married – but do you really want to base your decisions on what makes your mother happy?

10.  Marriage makes most assets “community” in ownership, to be shared upon dissolution  – which can be beneficial to at least one partner  – but it also can be a “cost” that arises if the couple breaks up. 

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2 Responses to “10 Reasons to Get Married — in France”

  1. Steve Branton Says:

    We were in Paris last fall during the first wave of bussed in protests. Quite a sight! I wonder if France’s marriages are mostly controlled on the state level like in the US. If DOMA falls, what do you see happening when couples married in a registration state move to Kentucky for example and begin to draw Social Security?

    • Frederick Hertz Says:

      My hunch is that couples living in non recognition states will not receive federal benefits — those will only be extended to those living in states that recognize their marriage. This will then lead to a new round of litigation, and eventually there will be federal recognition nationally.

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