Wednesday, 16 February 2005

Marriage vs PACS

According to the 2004 Demographic Report (English version) by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (Insee), the number of marriages in France continued to fall as people turned increasingly to civil partnership registrations (PACS). Marriages (with 266,000 civil marriages taking place in 2004) decreased by 5.9%, continuing a trend started in 2000. For the first 9 months of 2004, 27,000 PACS were signed (22,000 in the previous year). Insee notes that there is a slight slowing down in the increase of registrations (25% increase in 2002 and 2003 as opposed to over 29% between 2001 et 2002).

At its creation in 1999, Jacques Chirac described PACS as "not adapted to the needs of families". Out of the 130,000 signed so far, only one PACS in 10 has been disolved. In 2004, PACS was described in a report to the Garde des Sceaux (Lord Chancellor) as "a new way of conjugality, answering many needs and inscribed in continuity" (don't worry it doesn't really make sense in French either). PACS is open to both straight and gay couples.

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