Abstract

Civil unions are currently a divisive issues in the United States. Religion has historically influenced these debates. The French version of civil union, the Pacte Civil de Solidarité (Pacs,) was created in 1999 after seven years of debate. Many have written about the Pacs in the last decade. However, few have explored the direct correlations with France's relationship with Catholicism, her dominant religion that is doctrinally opposed to any sexual relationships outside of marriage. Laïcité has influenced a steady decrease in religiosity among French Catholics. This thesis explores the impact of this religious decline on the creation and surprising popularity of the Pacs, especially among heterosexual couples seeking an alternative to traditional marriage. The author believes that French society's tendency to modify institutions to meet the needs of the times assures a permanent place in society for both marriage and the Catholic Church, though both will probably continue to change forms.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; French and Italian

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2009-03-12

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd2814

Keywords

France, French, laïcité, civil union, Catholicism, Catholic Church, Pacs, Pacte Civil de Solidarité, marriage, divorce, religiosity, heterosexual, homosexual, religion

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