France strikes down court ruling on virginity.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Marriage (Social aspects)
Marriage (Laws, regulations and rules)
Virginity (Ethical aspects)
Virginity (Laws, regulations and rules)
Pub Date: 11/01/2009
Publication: Name: Reproductive Health Matters Publisher: Reproductive Health Matters Audience: General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Family and marriage; Health; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 Reproductive Health Matters ISSN: 0968-8080
Issue: Date: Nov, 2009 Source Volume: 17 Source Issue: 34
Topic: Event Code: 290 Public affairs; 930 Government regulation; 940 Government regulation (cont); 980 Legal issues & crime; 970 Government domestic functions Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation; 91 Ethics Computer Subject: Government regulation
Geographic: Geographic Scope: France Geographic Name: France Geographic Code: 4EUFR France
Accession Number: 225074425
Full Text: A French court has ruled that virginity is not an "essential quality" for a valid marriage. This ruling invalidated a lower court decision to annul a French Muslim couple's union because the bride was not a virgin, as she had claimed. French civil law allows annulment if a spouse lies about matters such as nationality, a criminal record or previous divorce. The initial ruling could have led to wider recognition of virginity as a legal obligation for marriage if a family demanded it. Several hundred activists demonstrated in Paris and the Ministry of Justice filed the appeal to reverse the ruling. Islam is the second most important religion in France but France's constitution defines the country as a secular republic and religion as a private matter. It was predicted that the original decision would send young Muslim women "running to hospitals to have their hymens restored". However, the country must navigate new cultural sensitivities and constitutional boundaries.

(1.) Manier B. France strikes down court ruling on virginity. Women's eNews, 18 November 2008.
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