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Saturday, March 21, 2015

French Adultery Website Sued by Catholic Group

In France, fidelity in marriage is written into the French civil code.  So when racy advertisements began sprouting-up in the Metro last year touting an adultery website, the Association of Catholic Families not only took offense, it filed a civil lawsuit.

Legal scholars believe that the suit may get some legs.  At issue is whether a website can promote adultery when marital fidelity is a matter of law.

As part of its promotion, membership in the website,, is fee to women and advertises on its home page that it is the only dating website made by women.  Thus, only men must pay a fee in order to access the site and view married women's profiles.

Online since 2009, the site boasts over a million members in France alone, with millions of other members spread across Europe.

In France, the legal system is made up of codes that are the rough equivalent to our federal statutes and regulations.  Unlike our common law system, however, a judge does not have broad interpretive powers. Nevertheless, a case like this demands a jurist to take into account, "the changing moral values of modern society," according to a French divorce lawyer quoted by the BBC.

The Catholic group's law suit against the site claims that while many other dating websites promote sexual relations, the very business model of Gleeden incites married couples to violate their civic duty to maintain fidelity to their spouse.

There are similar sites to Gleeden here in the United States. When a married couple files their marriage license with their state, for example, Ashley Madison spam often quickly follows.

Although rarely charged, adultery remains a felony written into the Michigan Penal Code.

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