Gay Marriage Debate in Europe

( [email protected] ) Apr 27, 2004 10:30 AM EDT

EUROPE -- A French mayor's plans to celebrate a gay marriage in his town hall in June and the possibility that it will be declared legally void have revived the debate on homosexual rights in France.

Noel Mamere, mayor of the southwestern town of Begles supports gay marriage in the name of equal rights. According to Mamere, Article 144 of the civil code does not stipulate that marriage is prohibited between people of the same sex. "If this marriage is declared void, the case will be taken to the European Court of Human Rights," he said.

However there is some strong opposing voice to this measure. Philippe de Villiers, head of the conservative and traditionalist Movement for France, described the idea of gay marriage as "a libertarian provocation" and "a parody."