France close to first-ever gay marriage

April 23, 2004

BORDEAUX, France — France's first gay marriage is to take place June 5, a mayor who has promised to conduct the ceremony said Thursday.

Noel Mamere, who is mayor of a suburb in the southwestern city of Bordeaux and also a parliamentary deputy for the Green Party, said two men have taken him up on an offer he made April 9, when he said "if I'm asked to celebrate a wedding between two people of the same sex in Begles (the suburb), I'll do it."

He said that he had found no mention in France's laws expressly prohibiting same-sex marriages and found it "inadmissable" that homosexuals did not have the same rights as other French citizens.

France in 1999 introduced a Civil Solidarity Pact (known as PACS), which gives all couples, including homosexual ones, many of the same fiscal and social rights as married partners.

Several representatives in Paris city hall, which is run by an openly gay mayor, Bertrand Delanoe, said last month they were open to the idea of following a San Francisco mayor's decision to wed more than 4,000 gay couples earlier this year before the California Supreme Court ordered him to stop. – AFP

Previous stories
French bishops condemn plan to give gay couples legal rights [17/09/1998]



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