Gay mayor hits Paris marriage rally with ‘petty’ €100k bill
Tue, 22 Jan 2013
The Mayor of Paris, who is gay, has slapped a €100,000 bill on opponents of gay marriage after they staged an official rally in the city.
The mayor, Bertrand Delanöe, claims the bill is for clean-up costs following a pre-arranged march by hundreds of thousands of people.
But the event’s organisers have hit back, saying the mayor has not made the same demands of other demonstrations, like gay pride events in the past.
The mayor’s actions have been called “the height of pettiness” by the party of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The march earlier this month in Paris was huge, with organisers putting the number of demonstrators at 800,000.
They converged at the Eiffel Tower, carrying blue and pink posters and banners declaring “all born of a father and mother”.
Now Mayor Delanöe says the cost of replacing grass around the Eiffel Tower should be met by the march organisers.
But comedienne Frigide Barjot, who speaks for the marchers, said city authorities have “never asked anyone to replant or pay after other demonstrations, such as the Gay Pride parade”.
She also said the demonstration had been authorised by the police.
His demand for around £80,000 was labelled “disgraceful” by the conservative party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
They described the mayor’s demand as “the height of pettiness and mediocrity”.
However Socialist Mayor Delanöe said the demand was “normal and legitimate”.
He also noted that he had rejected a request by President Hollande to hold a campaign meeting in the same area last year.
President Hollande wants same-sex marriage and homosexual adoption to be passed into law by June.