French appeals court restores marriage in virginity case

DOUAI, France: A French appeals court overturned on Monday a ruling by a lower tribunal that had annulled the marriage of two Muslims because the bride had lied about being a virgin.

The marriage was annulled earlier this year when a court held that the woman had lied over what is called in French law an “essential quality,” in this case her virginity. It ruled that the marriage contract was therefore invalid.

The case sparked outrage in both feminists and human rights activists, who were shocked that a court could consider virginity an “essential quality.” Some politicians also expressed concern that conservative Muslim values were creeping into French law.