French prosecutor moves to block gay marriage

May 27, 2004

Bertrand de Loze, the public prosecutor of Bordeaux
Photo - AFP
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, 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 homosexual couples.

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

Related stories
France's Catholic church objects to proposed gay marriage [24/05/2004]



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