The PACS and (Post-)queer citizenship in contemporary republican France



Johnston C (2008) The PACS and (Post-)queer citizenship in contemporary republican France. Sexualities, 11 (6), pp. 688-705.

This article examines the theoretical debates that have arisen from the development and subsequent implementation of same-sex partnership legislation in France in 1999. The significance of these debates extends far beyond the specific legislation that triggered them and can be understood as contributing to a far broader analysis of the relevance of traditional French republican ideologies to the realities of contemporary, metropolitan France. The article outlines the socio-political climate against which the legislation evolved and demonstrates how its detail engages with, and challenges, key notions at the heart of French republicanism such as, for instance, the public/private division and questions of kinship, filiation, and the family. Through analysis of the writings of three key figures at the interface of sociological analysis and queer studies in France – Frédéric Martel, Eric Fassin, and Maxime Foerster – I examine how same-sex couples have come to act as figureheads for the problematic status of minority groupings more generally. Ultimately, the article seeks to examine whether this legislation can, through the dialogue and debate it has provoked, pave the way for what can be termed ‘post-queer’ French citizenship, a renegotiation of the relationship between queer citizens and the republic.

Same-sex partnerships; French Republicanism; Citizenship; Filiation; Homosexuality France; Gays France Social aspects; Citizenship France

Sexualities: Volume 11, Issue 6

Publication date31/12/2008
PublisherSAGE Publications

People (1)


Dr Cristina Johnston

Dr Cristina Johnston

Senior Lecturer, French