Jean Vila, the mayor of the French town
of Cabestany, on Saturday presided over the wedding of two men,
calling the move a “militant act,” Reuters News Service reported.
Vila presided over the wedding of
Patrick, 48, and Guillaume, 37, in defiance of French law that bans
gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
“To outlaw homosexual marriage is to
deny the reality of thousands of homosexual couples,” Vila said
after the ceremony, which took place inside the town's city hall.
“This decision to join these two
people for me is an act of anger and revolt in the face of the
authorities' refusal to legitimize such unions,” he continued.
Cabestany is located just 25 miles from
the Spanish border. Spain's Socialist government legalized gay
marriage in 2005.
threatens to undo Spain's gay marriage law.)
The move was condemned by Claude Greff,
a junior minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, which is
up for re-election next year.
The marriage was an “electoral
provocation on the eve of the presidential election,” Greff said in
a statement. “It's unacceptable to use the powers vested in a
public official to violate the law.”
Vila, however, did not enter the
marriage in the official registry.
Gay and lesbian couples in France are
recognized with civil partnerships.