Falling into the usual pantomime of an argument against same-sex marriage, Jean-Michel Colo, the mayor of Arcangues in the Paye-Basques region of France, refuses to perform same-sex marriages claiming “When people close the door at home, they do what they want. For me, marriage is for a woman and man to have children. I am not discriminating as a same-sex couple is sterile. It’s a parody of equality, it’s a big lie.”
No word yet if Colo is planning on refusing to marry any opposite-sex couple who do not plan to or cannot have children since that would also violate his stated objection to same-sex marriage.
Colo has, though, been given a very stern warning from Interior Minister Manuel Valls regarding this refusal to marry two men, Jean-Michel and Guy. If Colo continues to refuse to do his duty under the law, he would be found guilty of discrimination and would face up to three years in prison and be forced to pay €45,000 in damages.
Colo’s statement has angered LGBT rights campaigners. Bena Gachen, spokesman for Les Bascos, stated “It’s a battle that’s already been lost. The law should apply across the country.” The ‘battle’ being Colo’s refusal to perform same-sex marriages which are already the law of the land in France despite continued opposition to it.
The chairman of the Committee to Defend Gay Rights, Alexander Marcel, has stated that his group would report Colo for discrimination. Jean-Michel and Guy, who are from Colo, have stated that they will not pay their local taxes until they are allowed to get married in their home town.
Marc and Joseph, another couple who will wed in Biarritz, told reporters that they are shocked by Colo’s statements saying “A mayor must respect the laws of (the) Republic. What is happening in Arcangues is totally absurd. ”
Colo is getting support on social media from the bigots who remain in opposition to same-sex marriage in France; however, should the discrimination report go through, Colo may not be mayor of that town for much longer.