The mayor of a small French town challenged the country’s ban on same-sex marriage by presiding over the wedding of two men on Saturday, reviving the debate on gay marriage as France’s presidential election campaign heats up.
The move drew a swift rebuke from a junior minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government who described it as an “electoral provocation.” Jean Vila, the mayor of the town of Cabestany, wore his tricolore sash as he presided over the wedding of Patrick, 48 and Guillaume, 37, and said afterward that he did so as a “militant act.”
“To outlaw homosexual marriage is to deny the reality of thousands of homosexual couples,” he said after the ceremony in the city hall of the town about 40 km (25 miles) from the Spanish border.
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