Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli navy attacks Hamas base as tanks line up along Gaza border

    Read more

  • French court lifts mayor’s ban on Muslim hijab at beach

    Read more

  • Shells land in Russia as eastern Ukrainians flee fighting

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament fails to agree on new leadership

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

France

Hollande admits to gay marriage opt-out gaffe

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-22

Responding to criticism from a gay-rights advocacy group, French President François Hollande has retracted what he called an “inappropriate” statement implying that he would allow mayors to refuse to officiate at gay weddings.

French President François Hollande was forced to backtrack Wednesday after he implied that mayors would be able to opt out of officiating at gay weddings.

Hollande had told a mayors conference on Tuesday that he respected their “freedom of conscience” and invoked the possibility of allowing them to delegate responsibility to councillors if they had a personal objection to marrying same-sex couples.

The move sparked criticism from Inter-LGBT, a gay-rights advocacy group, which said it was "suspending all relations with the government" until Hollande clarified his statement, which the group said "at best, can be termed a clumsy act and at worse, treachery".

Which is exactly what Hollande did. On Wednesday he told a delegation from Inter-LGBT that “he regretted having spoken inappropriately” about mayors’ “freedom of conscience”.

“The law must be applied everywhere,” Hollande later told reporters.
All couples getting married in France are obliged to undergo a civil ceremony -- even if they plan to have a church wedding. The ceremonies are mostly officiated by mayors, who can be replaced by their deputies.

‘Right to refuse’

The proposed law allowing for gay marriage in France has sparked widespread discontent among local officials, especially in more socially conservative rural areas.
In the southwestern region of Languedoc Roussillon, one in five mayors said they would refuse to marry gay couples, according to a poll by local daily newspaper Midi Libre.

And in the southeastern region of Provence, a campaign by far-right mayor Jacques Bompard -- a former high-ranking member of the French National Front -- calling for the “right to refuse” has gathered more than 2,000 signatures.

Hollande’s announcement was met with consternation by supporters of the bill, which is due to be debated by parliament at the beginning of 2013.

Responding to the mayors’ revolt on November 8, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira insisted that “we can’t massage this law to suit them”.

“I quite understand that some mayors are upset about this,” she said. “But they celebrate marriages as part of their function as officers of the state, and there is no getting away from this responsibility.”

Date created : 2012-11-22

  • FRANCE

    Hollande mulls letting mayors reject gay weddings

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Anti-gay marriage protesters clash with feminists in Paris

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Mayor backs down from gay wedding after threats

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)