In an unprecedented move, France’s Council of State said a decision by consular officials in Morocco to refuse a plaintiff from Senegal a short-term entry visa was a serious breach of the fundamental right to marry.
The French consulate in Casablanca rejected the man’s visa request on the grounds that he had previously been ordered to leave France because he did not have his papers in order and doubts over whether his relationship with a French national 35 years older than him was genuine.
The judge ruled that the latter charge was unfounded as the couple had jointly owned a flat for four years in Casablanca.
Under France’s 2013 marriage legislation homosexual couples are not able to marry in embassies or consulates in countries, like Morocco, where such unions are not permitted.
The judge has now ordered the Interior Ministry to issue a visa within 24 hours and pay him 5,000 euros in compensation.
While heterosexual couples in which one person is a French national are often turned down from marrying in France, they have the option of marrying at their local embassy or consulate.