France | Gay Marriage | News | The Netherlands

Gay Frenchman Loses Citizenship Over Dutch Same-Sex Marriage


Frederic Minvielle, a gay Frenchman who has been living in the Netherlands for six years and married a Dutch man in 2003, has lost his French citizenship because of the marriage, Time reports:

"Although the Franco-Dutch immigration treaty pertaining to his situation generally forces nationals from one country to surrender their original citizenship when naturalized in the other, there is a key exception that allows dual citizenship accorded through marriage. Minvielle figured that would work for him. 'France does not recognize marriage between people of the same sex as the Netherlands does, and therefore considers Mr. Minvielle an unwed man living with another man,' explains Minvielle's French lawyer, Caroline Mecary. Because of that, she says, France has applied the bilateral accord the way it would to any single French national adopting Dutch nationality: by revoking French citizenship."

Gay Marriage Costs Him Citizenship [time]

A French news report, AFTER THE JUMP, for those of you who speak the language.

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  1. That is an outrageously high handed abuse of executive power. The French authorities need to reverse this idiotic decision and save themselves further embarrassment.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | May 5, 2008 1:16:49 PM

  2. That's a very misleading claim.

    He didn't lose his French citizenship because of the marriage. He could've remained a resident alien and still gotten married. He lost his French citizenship when became naturalized as a Dutch citizen and swore loyalty to the Dutch Queen.

    However, he thought the marriage would protect him from punitive action because France doesn't go after you if you're already married to a citizen of your new country. It didn't work, obviously, because France doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

    But who needs French citizenship when you already have Dutch citizenship?

    They're both EU states. It doesn't matter that much.

    Posted by: John | May 5, 2008 1:20:50 PM

  3. In reply to John's comment, for the gay man in question, the loss of his French citizenship has "proved to be a staggering loss..." according to the report in Time magazine.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | May 5, 2008 1:35:37 PM

  4. the "Dutch Queen"

    Does she post here on Towleroad? Well, she'll have to deal with me, THE QUEEN, and the Very Late Dowager Queen Mother of Enland, Scotland, Wales, Empress of Swaziland, etc.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 5, 2008 1:43:50 PM

  5. It matters, John, because, as Frederic eloquently expresses in the interview in the clip, the French government is treating his marriage as if it had a lesser value than a marriage between a man and a woman. It's a matter of principle, and rather an important one.

    Posted by: Dan E | May 5, 2008 1:48:52 PM

  6. French citizens are always entitled to take advantage of the PACS (civil union)

    Posted by: me | May 5, 2008 1:53:47 PM

  7. wow, talk about "An Early Frost" to a marriage.

    Posted by: A.J. | May 5, 2008 2:12:16 PM

  8. Apparently he will be able to recover his nationality by 2009

    Posted by: Jordan | May 5, 2008 2:14:53 PM

  9. He should have asked for legal advice about the matter, instead of simply assuming he would get to keep his citizenship.

    Posted by: Eric | May 5, 2008 2:42:20 PM

  10. Eric,

    Exactly. He tried to bluff the French government, and they called him on it. But this hasn't damaged anything other than his ego.

    As a Dutch citizen, he enjoys the same privileges that he had before. Both the Netherlands and France are members of the European Union. In fact, he can travel back to France for an indefinite period of time... whenever he wants.

    Sometimes, I think gays mistake "egocentricism" for "principles." There are gays who are raped, tortured, and executed by various regimes on this planet every day. And we're acting like Mr Minvielle's hurt feelings constitutes an international crisis.

    Well, I'm sorry he's unhappy with the results, but I have trouble getting indignant about semantical word games (unregistered co-habitation / registered domestic partnership / civil union / civil partnership / marriage)...especially when there's no quantifiable difference.

    Posted by: John | May 5, 2008 3:07:29 PM

  11. Semantic word games were part of the basis for "Separate But Equal"... So yeah, they do sort of matter.

    Posted by: Gerard | May 5, 2008 3:43:52 PM

  12. The "quantifiable difference" is that a straight married couple would in all likelihood not have faced this problem, so it's a bit more than "semantical word games." Being second-class matters in large and small ways, and we shouldn't have to put up with it. Mr. Minvielle should have known better, however, since the marriage laws in France have never been equal for gay people and straight people.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 5, 2008 6:45:18 PM

  13. I dont think this is an example of homophobia but it sounds like a conflict in law. This is going to be more and more of an issue in the EU. Some nations allow gay marriage, others civil unions, some dual nationality, other dont. It will have to be addressed on a multi-laterial basis and not on a bi-laterial one.
    The good thing if people dont know, is that as an EU citizen, you can live and work in any EU nation without visa's etc. You can even vote in local and European elections. However, this situation is unfair and needs to be addressed.

    Posted by: EvilEuropean | May 6, 2008 4:43:21 AM

  14. To me it doesn't matter, if it is formally legal or not, but it seems as someone went after this and triumphantly said, "Haha, Now I know how to piss of this pédé."

    Posted by: Alex form Germany | May 6, 2008 4:55:48 AM

  15. The loss of citizensheap happened due to his acceptance of dutch nationality. Not only French have restrictions against double nationality; dutch legislation is also strict so he wouldn't be able to keep both any way. Eventually loss of French nationality was not directly related to his orientation.
    As someone pointed out, unless EU will disintegrate it does not really matter-with dutch passport he can settle in France, work in France and even receive social security. Generally it is not much difference.
    French politician Daniel Kohn Beditte (lefty MP in european parliament) has german passport for electoral reasons, but no one seems to care

    Posted by: Gabrichidze | May 1, 2011 11:01:11 AM

  16. If they do that to me, I will push the nuclear button (metpahorically that is). Infuriating! France's condescension is intolerable.

    Posted by: Societal BS | May 22, 2011 9:53:43 AM

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