French prosecutor moves to block gay marriage
May 27, 2004
BORDEAUX — Judicial authorities in France's southwestern city of Bordeaux
moved on Wednesday to block the country's first marriage between
homosexuals planned for next month.
Bertrand de Loze, the public prosecutor of Bordeaux|
Photo - AFP
Bertrand de Loze, the public prosecutor of Bordeaux, announced
that he was opposed to the marriage taking place, and ordered Noel
Mamere, a Green member of the French parliament, to abandon his
plans to celebrate it.
"In your capacity of civil servant, you are hereby forbidden
from celebrating the planned marriage," he told Mamere in a fax.
"As an officer of public authority, it is important that you
refrain from any initiative designed to undermine the application
of the law," he added.
Mamere, who is also mayor of the Bordeaux suburb 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.
French Justice Minister Dominique Perben, in line with the
centre-right government's opposition to the move, had called on the
Bordeaux prosecutor to block the marriage.
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.
Earlier this month, the United States' first state-sanctioned
marriages of same-sex couples were carried out in Massachusetts, in
a historic new landmark for gay rights. – Sapa-AFP
France's Catholic church objects to proposed gay marriage [24/05/2004]