French mayor presides over same-sex marriage stunt
Thu, 24 Nov 2011
A Communist mayor in south west France has presided over a homosexual marriage, in a bid to force the country to adopt a radical new definition of marriage.
France retained the traditional definition of marriage earlier this year after its Parliament voted on the issue.
In the UK, the Scottish Government is currently consulting on changing the definition of marriage while the Westminster Government will consult next year on how, not whether, to redefine marriage.
Jean Vila, the Communist mayor of Cabestany, presided over the ceremony – which he described as a “militant act”.
A French Government minister called the move a “provocation on the eve of the presidential election”, which takes place next year.
In June members of the French lower house voted 293 to 222 in favour of traditional marriage.
The vote followed a court case which had ruled it was up to Parliament whether to change the law.
The Scottish Government’s move to redefine marriage has faced widespread criticism with over 70 of Scotland’s largest evangelical churches signing an open letter to the First Minister urging him not to redefine marriage.
The open letter, from churches attended by more than 20,000 people, asks Alex Salmond to “uphold the clear understanding of marriage that has served Scotland well for centuries”.
In England a prominent commentator has warned David Cameron that he should “tread more carefully” in considering whether to redefine marriage.
Charles Moore, former editor of The Daily Telegraph, responded to Mr Cameron’s support of same-sex marriage by saying: “For the entire history of civilisation, marriage has been defined as being between a man and a woman.
“Throughout that history, almost all civilisations have regarded marriage as central to their survival.”
He insisted that the onus of proof should not be on those who seek to justify traditional marriage but on the same-sex marriage campaigners.