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Sunday, February 15, 2004

I Can't Believe It's Not Marriage!

In Europe people are getting kinda, sorta married. The French call the legally recognized but definitely second-tier union a pacte civil de solidarité. Instead of getting married, some straight couples are getting "PACS'ed." The not-quite-married option began as a way to give some legal rights to same-sex couples, but was expanded to include heterosexuals who wanted a less binding legal status than the one you get by vowing to stick with each other "till death do us part." The New York Times reports:

The civil solidarity pact that they signed confers some stability and legal rights. It means, for instance, that Mr. Antar can remain in his civil service job in Marseille, living with Ms. Ramirez, secure that he will not be transferred to another area. It means that the couple share property rights and, after three years as official partners, will get the same tax breaks as married people.

But it also allows either member to dissolve the relationship, with little legal complication, on three months' notice, a source of some comfort to this skittish couple.

I Can't Believe It's Not Marriage is available in all sorts of European countries, although some restrict it to homosexuals. Perhaps now is a good time to mention Unmarried to Each Other, a book by two (Unitarian Universalist) advocates of conscientious cohabitation without tying the knot.

("In Europe, lovers now propose: Marry me, a little," Sarah Lyall, New York Times 2.15.04, reg req'd)

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 15 February 2004 at 3:06 PM

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