Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hiroshima's Healing Hug

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Uganda Terror Trial: Five jailed for life for 2010 Al-Shabaab World Cup Bombings

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obama in Hiroshima and Austria's close call (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

French labour strikes, raids on Google and McDonald's (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Ukraine: Searching for missing people in Donbass

Read more

REVISITED

Video: What remains of the Gezi movement in Turkey?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Euro 2016: France readies for kick off

Read more

ENCORE!

Anne A-R : The people beyond the numbers: A photographic manifesto from the migrant trail

Read more

ENCORE!

Video: Ken Loach wins his second Palme d'Or in Cannes

Read more

France

Gay couple sue French mayor over marriage refusal

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-06-26

A gay couple are suing a mayor in the southwest of France for discrimination after he refused to marry them. The 60-year-old mayor, who faces up to five years in prison, said he would rather serve a jail sentence than marry two men.

A gay couple in southwestern France Wednesday pressed charges against a mayor who has refused to wed them in defiance of a landmark law allowing same-sex unions.

Jean-Michel Colo, the mayor of Arcangues, stirred up controversy by becoming the first French official to formally refuse to officiate at the wedding of a gay couple, Jean-Michel Martin and Guy Martineau-Espel, and has made several combative statements.

Isabelle Duguet, the couple's lawyer, said she had filed a case against Colo for discrimination and refusal to carry out his official duties. The 60-year-old has been mayor of Arcangues for three decades.

Duguet said he could face a five-year jail term and a 75,000-euro ($98,000) fine.

"For me, marriage is for a woman and man to have children. I am not discriminating as a same-sex couple is sterile. It's a parody of equality, it's a big lie," Colo had said earlier, defending his stand.

"I will go to the gallows" rather than back down, Colo said.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls has warned Colo of "significant sanctions", telling reporters that any public servants refusing to respect the letter of the law would be guilty of discrimination and thus risk up to three years in prison, as well as paying 45,000 euros in damages.

Martineu-Espel had told AFP that the couple had even tried to tell the mayor that the nuptials would not be played out in the media but he had failed to persuade Colo to marry them.

In April, France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage after President Francois Hollande, who had made the issue a major electoral plank, signed the measure into law following months of bitter political debate.

The first gay marriage in France was held on May 29.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-06-26

  • FRANCE

    France's first gay marriage takes place in Montpellier

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Passions flare ahead of France’s first gay marriage

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France’s anti-gay marriage movement eyes next battle

    Read more

COMMENT(S)