Friday, October 18, 2013

French Constitutional Council Rejects Mayors' Attempt To Avoid Performing Same-Sex Marriages

France's Constitutional Council, its highest constitutional tribunal, today rejected claims by seven mayors that their freedom of conscience is violated by imposing on them an obligation to perform same-sex marriages.  According to Reuters, French law requires all couples to be married in civil ceremonies conducted by mayors or their deputies, after which the couples may also have a religious ceremony. After several mayors announced they would not perform same-sex marriages, the Interior Minister issued a memo warning them that they risked five years in jail or a 7,500€ fine. Here is the full text (in French) of today's decision in M. Frank M. et autres, (Const. Counc., Oct. 18, 2013) rejecting the mayors' complaint that no conscience clause was included in France's same sex marriage law enacted last May.  It is expected that the case will be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.  [Thanks to Scott Mange for the lead.]