Since the adoption of the law granting same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children, more than six hundred same-sex couples have married and over a thousand applications have been submitted to town and city halls. According to France Inter, this is true of gay marriage in the fifty most populated cities and towns in France after only three months since the law’s passage.
The majority of these marriages have taken place in Paris, the nation’s capital. At present, almost one-tenth or 8.6% of all marriages in Paris are homosexual according to France 3.
The legalization of gay marriage was one of the promises made by President François Hollande during his campaign in 2012. In spite of public protests and an official appeal titled “Protect children”, signed by over 17 000 mayors and deputies in the hopes of retaining the right to not celebrate same-sex unions, the “Loi Taubira” was voted in by Parliament on April 23 and promulgated on May 18.
While gay marriage was legalized more than three months ago, some continue to protest by refusing to execute the law. The Mayor of Bollène and member of the far-right Ligue du Sud, Marie-Claude Bompard, is refusing to marry two women in her commune or delegate the right to another official.
Her husband Jacques Bompard, Mayor of Orange and a founding member of the Front National, had also refused to marry a same-sex couple. However, he eventually conceded to delegate the marriage to a deputy.
The Parti Socialiste (PS) denounced Marie-Claude Bompard’s attitude, claiming that refusing to marry the couple is illegal and punishable by law. Bompard could face up to five years of prison and a 75 thousand euro fine, in addition to being suspended from the Council of Ministers.
While this incident does seem to deviate from the norm, opposition to gay marriage is ever-present in France. On Saturday, August 31, hundreds of protesters gathered at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, seated and holding candles, singing scout songs. One protester told Le Monde, “It is not because a law is passed that it is just.”
As the protests continue, it will be interesting to see how many same-sex couples will marry within the first year of legalization. France Inter plans to release the national statistics for the anniversary of the law’s passing next year.