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Home > France > Legal status of religions > Specific stipulations > Marriage > Precedence of civil marriage

Precedence of civil marriage

Since the law N° 2013-404 of 17 May 2013, « marriage is contracted by two persons of different gender or of the same gender » (art. 143 of the Civil code).
Civil marriage is the only type of marriage recognized by law and must precede the religious one.
According to article 433-21 of the Penal code, any minister of religion usually conducts religious ceremonies of marriage without being presented beforehand with the civil marriage certificate shall be punished by 6 months of imprisonment and a 7,500 euros fine. The offence is constituted by repeated conduct: sanction can only occur after the minister has celebrated for the second time a religious ceremony of marriage with no previous civil marriage.

24 September 2012