A gay couple from the Breton department of Morbihan in France are in a court battle over their son’s name. The two women want to name the boy “Ambre” (the French equivalent of Amber) but have been forbidden by the government, according to reports.
The French government, until 1993, required parents to choose a baby name from a list of acceptable options. After President François Mitterand dumped the law, parents were given more leeway, but the courts can step in if they feel the name could cause undue issues for the child.
Amber, or “Ambre” in French, is considered a girl’s name. In the French language, names are typically strongly gendered. Ambre is the feminine version of Ambroise, and dates back to the 1950s.
While the name is officially a girls’ name, it has been given to other boys in the past, and has a masculine sound in French.
The couple is rightfully upset.
“Society is very unfair, it lets ridiculous first names pass,” said Alice Gondell, one of the child’s mothers, to France Bleu.
The couple fears that homophobia is also at play.