Mentally disabled win right to freely marry and vote in France

AFP Paris, France Oct 25, 2018, 04.50 PM(IST)

Demonstrators hold placards during a demonstration to protest the living conditions of children with mental disabilties and their family. Photograph:( AFP )

Disabled people who have been made wards of court will soon be guaranteed the right to freely vote or get married, the French government said Thursday.

The measures "will give handicapped people back their citizenship," Sophie Cluzel, junior minister in charge of disabilities, told reporters.

The measure would apply to some 310,000 people with disabilities who have been made wards of court and who, until now, could be banned by a judge from voting -- many of them people with mental disabilities.

The aim "is to allow everyone to vote, at the latest, in the next municipal elections in 2020," Cluzel also said in an interview with the newspaper Le Parisien.

New measures, to be introduced by the end of the year, would also allow disabled wards of the court to freely marry or divorce without the need to go before a judge.

Other measures include permanent financial support for disabled people whose condition is unlikely to ever improve, easing the administrative burden of repeatedly having to apply for benefits.