Yesterday, the Conseil constitutionnel (the supreme constituional authority in France) accepted a referral from the Cour de Cassation (the supreme private law court in France) regarding whether the French Civil Code's ban on same-sex marriage complied with the French Constitution's equal treatment provisions.
The issue arose in the Reims Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI), a French court of first instance. However, the TGI referred the issue to the Cour de Cassation under a relatively recent provision under French law allowing courts to refer questions to the high courts if the lower courts face an issue regarding fundamental rights. The Cour de Cassation in turn referred this issue because it is new and serious issue involving constitutional interpretation.
Now, the Conseil will hash out the issue. Those supporting same-sex marriage in France have argued that the ban infringes on French citizens' liberty ("limitent la liberté individuelle d'un citoyen français de contracter mariage avec une personne du même sexe"). France's ban remains despite many of its neighbor countries that allow same-sex marriage--the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and the UK.
While France allows a form of legal partnership for same-sex couples called un pact civil et de solidarité ("PACS"), it limits child adoption to parents who are married. Previously, the Conseil constitutionnel left the issue of same-sex parenting to the legislature.
While LGBT advocates would prefer a purely legislative solution, same-sex marriage in France may come judicially from the Conseil constitutionnel.