French Prime Minister Francois Hollande
is coming under fire from gay marriage supporters after appearing to
backtrack slightly on the government's plans to legalize marriage and
adoption for gay and lesbian couples.
Hollande, who campaigned on the
proposed “marriage for everyone” law, told a national mayors'
conference on Tuesday that he may allow mayors to opt out from
officiating such weddings.
Under French law, all couples getting
married must have a civil ceremony, most of which are officiated by
“The law applies to everyone in
France,” Hollande said. “But it must be applied with respect to
freedom of conscience. Mayors are currently able to delegate their
responsibilities to deputies, but for same-sex marriages it is
possible that we could expand their options for delegation.”
Hollande's comments come after
opponents mounted huge demonstrations and marches throughout the
country over the weekend.
march against gay marriage in France.)
The Inter-LGBT, a leading group
advocating for the reform, said on Wednesday that it was “suspending
all relations with the government” until Hollande explained “what
at best can be termed a clumsy act and at worse treachery,” the AFP
The government on Wednesday insisted
the prime minister was not reversing on his pledge.
Alain Escada, head of the Roman
Catholic-supported Civitas association, which opposes the marriage
that “what appears to be Hollande's first step backwards on
this issue proves that protests against gay marriage in France are
starting to bear fruit.”