ARCANGUES, France — The mayor of Arcangues, a small city in southwestern France, said he refuses to officiate unions between gay couples despite passage of a national law legalizing same-sex marriage.
Mayor Jean-Michel Colo said marriage equality is “a big lie” and that he is prepared to “go to the gallows” rather than preside over gay weddings.
“I am not discriminating as a same-sex couple is sterile. It’s a parody of equality, it’s a big lie,” Colo said. “When people close the door at home, they do what they want. For me, marriage is for a woman and man to have children.”
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Colo rejected a marriage license application from Guy Martineau-Espel and his long-time partner Jean-Michel Martin last week.
The couple who applied for the license live in Arcangues and said they plan to sue Colo.
French Interior Minster Manuel Valls said that Colo could face discrimination charges for refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and penalties including up to five years in jail and a fine of €75,000 (about $99,000).
“The elected [officials] who do not respect the laws of the republic will risk significant sanctions,” Valls said.
Colo vowed not to change his mind, saying, “I will go to the gallows.”