French Court Overturns Muslim Marriage Annulment

AP, November 17, 2008

A French appeals court on Monday reinstated the marriage of a Muslim man who had sought an annulment because his bride lied about being a virgin.

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The couple married in 2006 but the husband quickly sought an annulment after discovering on their wedding night that his bride had lied about her virginity.

In April, a lower court in the northern town of Douai granted the annulment, saying the woman “acquiesced” to the man’s demand for one “based on a lie concerning her virginity.

On Monday, the appeals court in Douai overturned the annulment, effectively ruling that the couple is again married, said lawyer Xavier Labbee, representing the husband.

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Both the woman and the man opposed the appeal, according to their lawyers. The woman’s lawyer, Charles-Edouard Mauger, has said she was distraught by the dragging out of the humiliating case.

The couple must now seek a divorce if they want to separate.

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