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French mayor refuses to perform gay wedding


September 13, 2004

PARIS — The mayor of a Paris suburb on Wednesday refused to celebrate what would have been France's second gay marriage, accusing Greens party members of pressuring city officials to approve the union.

Marc Everbecq, the Communist mayor of Bagnolet east of Paris, said in a statement that two men accompanied by Greens party faithful had "put strong pressure on civil servants" to accept their request for a marriage license.

"I condemn what looks like an unacceptable power play and I fully support the civil servants who felt like they were being forced to provoke the authorities," the mayor said.

"The city of Bagnolet will not perform an illegal marriage," Everbecq said, adding that he would alert public prosecutors and the two men concerned that the marriage was off.

France's first gay marriage, performed in June in the southwest town of Begles by leading Greens member Noel Mamere, was declared null and void by a Bordeaux court in July.

Mamere was suspended from his municipal post for a month for defying a government order to drop the wedding.

In Bagnolet, an official proclamation about the gay marriage of Mehdi Adem and Christophe Provot was posted on city hall billboards, but without a date for the ceremony, an AFP correspondent saw.

Contacted by telephone, Greens officials in Bagnolet denied they had pressured city workers to approve the marriage. – Sapa-AFP


Related stories
Court nullifies France's first gay marriage [28/07/2004]


 

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