The French Catholic group that sued extramarital dating site Gleeden has lost its case against the dating company.
The group, Les Associations Familiales Catholiques, was suing BlackDivine, the owners of Gleeden, for promoting extramarital affairs.
The Catholic organisation said adverts posted by the site contravened a section in France’s civil code that promotes “mutual respect, fidelity, help and assistance between spouses”.
During the court case, the association apparently called for Gleeden to stop its advertising campaigns, as well as demanding the cancellation of contracts between the site and its customers.
In response, BlackDivine criticised the group’s use of the French justice system to “argue a moral point”.
And yesterday a Paris court ruled against the CNAFC – which sees “family based on marriage as the basis of the society” – throwing out its complaint against Gleeden.
The court said legal issues regarding infidelity were only applicable within the boundaries of a “private marital relationship”, and that Gleeden’s reference to infidelity was not unlawful.
Gleeden’s lawyer, Caroline Mecary, told the Associated Press: “It is a victory of freedom of speech over religious bigotry. The plaintiff sought to use legal proceedings to promote a reactionary and conservative vision of the couple and the family, but the court was not fooled.”
The case arose after adverts for Gleeden were taken down around Paris, following protestations and a petition from residents, which was signed by 23,000 people.
The adverts featured captions such as: “Unlike anti-depressant drugs, a lover costs nothing on the state health service,” “And what if, this year, you cheated on your lover with your husband?” and “To be faithful to two men is to be twice as faithful”.
At the time, a lawyer for the National Confederation of Catholic Family Associations, Henri de Beauregard, said the site and their adverts acted as an ”encouragement to break a contractual obligation entered into at the time of marriage.”
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