In announcing his return to frontline politics, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy criticized the nation's gay marriage law.

Sarkozy lost a 2012 presidential bid to Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande.

Last year, Hollande made good on a campaign pledge to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Opponents organized massive rallies – some of which turned violent – against the law's passage.

Sarkozy said that while he would not repeal the marriage law, he “detested” the way it was introduced, in particular its overriding “marriage for all” theme, which he described as “humiliating” to families and “people who love the family.”

Sarkozy is vying to head the opposition UMP Party, a move which many believe he'll use as a stepping stone to challenge Hollande in 2017.