Council rejects same sex marriage for St. Martin

(TDH) – MARIGOT–The Territorial Council recently signed a motion categorically stating it does not want the same-sex marriage law, if passed at the national level, applied in St. Martin, and the request delivered to Senator Louis-Constant Fleming.

Debates on the same-sex marriage law proposal began again Thursday in the Senate. Adopted by the Council of Ministers on November 7, 2012, it was then discussed in the National Assembly on January 29, 2013 where 329 voted in favour of same-sex marriage and 229 against.

It was understood Senator Fleming and Senator Michel Magras of St. Barths will vote against the motion.

The Territorial Council nevertheless asked that “right of difference” among homosexuals be respected and called for an improvement of existing conditions regarding the living-together agreement known as PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité) to enhance their civil union and assure equality of rights, the same rights as heterosexuals.

Giving its reasons for not wanting the law applied in St. Martin, the Council cited that in a deeply rooted historical, cultural, and social context of different populations in the Antilles, and in St. Martin in particular, attitudes are fundamentally different to those of mainland France.

The Council also invoked a clause from the 2007 organic law stating “the Republic guarantees the Collectivité’s right of autonomy, and respects its interests, taking into account specific differences of a geographical, historical, and cultural nature.”

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