poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

France joins gay marriage debate
A mayor challenges France to consider gay marriage by offering the nation its first same-sex 'wedding' next week.
By Peter Ford | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

PARIS – Noel Mamère, a radical leader of France's small Green Party, is no stranger to controversy. But his latest stunt has not only sparked a fierce national debate, it has earned him a police escort to ensure his safety in the face of death threats.
His outrage? To officiate - in his capacity as a town mayor - at the country's first gay marriage next week, following in the footsteps of San Francisco's mayor, who challenged California law by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples earlier this year.

He also pushes France in the direction of the Netherlands and Belgium, which have already legalized same-sex marriage, and Sweden and Spain, which are in the process of doing so, as Europe moves in fits and starts toward allowing homosexual couples to share the rights and duties of married life.

France, for now, has legalized only limited civil unions between gay couples, which puts Mr. Mamère's plans to join a shop assistant and a health care worker in marriage on June 5 almost certainly outside the law. The marriage will be "purely and simply null," Justice Minister Dominique Perben told the conservative daily "Le Figaro," because France's civil code requires husband and wife to be man and woman.


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