French justice minister declares planned gay marriage void
May 06, 2004
PARIS — French Justice Minister Dominique Perben called Wednesday on
judicial authorities in the southwest city of Bordeaux to block a
marriage between homosexuals planned for next month.
Photo - AFP
"If such a marriage is organised there are two possibilities,"
he told the National Assembly.
"Either the public prosecutor objects before it takes place and
the parties concerned seek a decision from the courts. Or the
prosecutor demands it (the marriage) be deemed null and void after
it has taken place.
"I have already asked the prosecutor to object."
Perben said that the "civil code, the law provides for marriage
between two people of different sexes... I might add that the
jurisprudence of the Appeal Court and of the European Court of
Human Rights takes the same line."
Noel Mamere, a Green member of the French parliament and mayor
of the southwestern town of Begles, has announced his intention to
marry two men on June 5, bringing the issue of gay marriage to the
forefront of public debate.
"It is not up to a minister to state the law but to judges," he
said last week. "His intimidation does not scare me."
Mamere said the best way to fight homophobia was to stop making
gender differentiation a reason for segregation.
Perben told the assembly that draft legislation introducing
tougher penalties for homophobic attitudes would shortly be
Although the Netherlands and Belgium are the only European
countries to allow same-sex civil marriages, France and several
other states allow civil unions for both heterosexual and
France's Civil Solidarity Pact (known as PACS) was introduced in
1999 and gives all adult couples, including homosexual ones, many
of the same fiscal and social rights as married partners. – Sapa-AFP
French gay marriage plan revives gay rights debate [26/04/2004]