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France criminalizes gay marriage


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Oh, my - those great heroes of the Left, the Caped Crusaders for Liberty and Justice - French President Jacques Chirac and his Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin - are threatening to criminally punish a French mayor for the vile, evil crime of marrying a gay couple.


Where are all the shriekers who scream "NAZI!!" at anyone who opposes gay marriage? Doesn't this make the French Government the equivalent of Hitler? They're not just opposing gay marriage, but are threatening those who participate in such ceremonies with criminal punishment. Could you imagine the outcry of FASCISM!!! if the Bush Administration had threatened to initiate criminal proceedings against Mayor Gavin Newsome for allowing gay marriages?


Where is the outcry from the Left over this? Aren't Chirac and de Villepin NAZIS!!! and Brownshirts and Fascists???



French Mayor, Defying Law, Performs Gay Marriage



Published: June 6, 2004



PARIS, June 5 - _ France witnessed its first gay wedding on Saturday, despite warnings from the central government that the ceremony was illegal and the mayor who officiated could be punished.


Noel Mamère, a leader of the Green Party and mayor of the southwest town of Bègles, presided at the town hall over the wedding of two men, Bertrand Charpentier, a 31-year-old shopworker, and Stéphane Chapin, a 34-year-old nurse.


"I'm proud of this wedding," Mr. Mamère told the couple, adding, "I don't consider myself an outlaw."


In proceeding with the ceremony, Mr. Mamère ignored pressure from President Jacques Chirac's center-right government to cancel it.


Mr. Mamère could be suspended as mayor and fined as much as $1,800, but any punishment would have little political effect. Mr. Mamère, a savvy, outspoken journalist-turned-politician, could still remain a member of Parliament.


An hour after the ceremony, Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin announced that the French government had initiated a "sanctions procedure" against Mr. Mamère. "I intend to make sure the law of the republic and the authority of the state are respected," Mr. de Villepin said.


On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin warned: "If such a ceremony takes place, it cannot be called a marriage. It would be an illegal ceremony, null and void under the law." He said that any elected official who did such a thing would "be exposed to the sanctions provided for by law." Justice Minister Dominique Perben has also expressed his opposition, as has the Archbishop Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux, who is also president of the Conference of Bishops of France.


The Catholic Church opposes gay weddings "because marriage also ensures the renewal of generations, the clarity of filial and parental ties and provides security to the adults and the children who are the fruit of that union, which is not the case of unions between people of the same sex," Archbishop Ricard wrote in a recent newspaper commentary.


He has called France a "hypocritical country" when it comes to marriage. He has argued that the relevant law - article 75 of the country's Civil Code, which dates back to Napoleon - is vague and does not require that marriage bind a man and a woman. The article states that a couple entering marriage "will receive a declaration from each party that they want to take each other for husband and wife."


The government, however, wants to restrict gay partnerships to a civil contract known as the Civil Solidarity Pact, a legal mechanism introduced in 1999 that gives all adult couples - regardless of their sex or sexual orientation - many of the same financial and social rights as those who are formally wedded.


The matter has created fissures in the Socialist Party, which championed the Civil Solidarity Pact in the first place. While some Socialists, including the former prime minister and Socialist leader Lionel Jospin, oppose it, François Hollande, the current leader of the Socialist Party, has suggested that it might be advisable eventually to legalize gay marriage.


Mr. Charpentier and Mr. Chapin, both dressed in suits, were applauded by dozens of gay rights supporters as they arrived in a Rolls-Royce at the town hall in Bègles, a suburb of Bordeaux. The police stopped some opponents from entering town hall.


A handful of mayors of other small French towns have said they will follow Mr. Mamère's lead and preside at gay marriages.

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Attack the issue, not the person [/font color]


but Chirac is a RIGHT-WING president! Not as right-wing as M. LePen (who, by the way, has shockingly come out IN SUPPORT of gay marriages) but very much in the conservative mainstream in France.


If the Socialists were in power, perhaps they might be thinking about amending the Civil Code to make marriage available to all, just as the new Socialist prime minister of Spain has said he will do.

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