Michael and David at their PACS, Paris

Very civilised: a partnership to last

If something’s worth celebrating, why stop at just one party? That is the thinking of our friends Michael and David. We joined the couple to celebrate their civil solidarity pact – or pacte civil de solidarité – in Paris last weekend.

However, they are already talking about getting married in a few years’ time. Or ‘upgrading’, as it’s known in gay circles.

So far, so familiar.

In the UK, we have civil partnerships and full-blown marriage too. As in France, what makes the two different is the involvement of the church.

There are some other important differences too. British civil partnerships are for same-sex unions only. In France, they are for gay and straight couples. In fact, far more heterosexual couples opt for a pacte civil de solidarité (PACS) than gay couples.

Gay unions account for just 5% of PACS, statistics show.

The other thing that separates British civil partnerships from French PACS is that the latter can be temporary. Michael and David’s is set out like a contract, they tell me – and is valid for just five years.

“Damon and I celebrated 21 years together in January and we may mark our 25th anniversary by getting married”

Their celebration last weekend didn’t feel like a short-term thing, though. They had hired the Pavillon du Lac at the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, in Paris’ north-eastern 19th arrondissement. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from their house. We’ve been there before with les garçons, as we call them.

They say they are now considering having a wedding in a few years’ time.

So are we. Damon and I celebrated 21 years together in January and we are toying with the idea of marking our 25th anniversary by getting married.

We had a do for 50 people when we had our civil partnership. Like Michael and David, we can easily find a reason for a second party.

It’ll be different to the first one, of course – not least because we expect to be living in France by then. That’s got to be worth celebrating.

This entry was published on Saturday, 16 July 2016 at 07:57. It’s filed under News and politics, Places and people and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Very civilised: a partnership to last

  1. Doooooo itttttttt

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How exciting! 21 years together is wonderful. I think a wedding for the 25th anniversary, in la belle France, would be absolutely perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats! A record to be proud of.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats to your friends and to you also on 21 years! I just had to put in my two cents—a French wedding doesn’t have to involve the church. At our wedding last summer we completely bypassed the church. There are some other administrative advantages to being married over being pacsed, especially if one partner is a foreigner, which was always one reason I felt gay marriage remained an important right to win in France.

    Liked by 1 person

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