It seems family ties are sometimes stronger than ideology. A French mayor has set aside his vocal opposition to same-sex marriage to officiate his gay son’s union.
Last year, Raymond Bardet, mayor of the village of Ville-la-Grande, mocked gay marriage by performing a sham gay wedding, and affirmed that he would never marry a same-sex couple.
Le Dauphiné Libéré newspaper reports that Bardet, however, ultimately couldn’t say no to his own son and happily married him to another man last Saturday.
The mayor revealed that he only learned of his son’s homosexuality in the last two and a half months and that he couldn’t let an assistant officiate the marriage.
“There was no question that I would entrust marrying him to someone else. No, I’m his father. It was my turn to celebrate their union, as I had done for his sister,” he said.
He described his son, who lives and works in Paris, and his husband as a “beautiful couple” and “stylish.”
When asked if his views on same-sex marriage had changed, Bardet replied: “No, I haven’t changed my mind. I don’t think that this is what nature intended.”
Bardet added that this was a once-off occasion and that he won’t preside at another gay wedding again, leaving this instead to his assistants. “I did it because it’s my son,” he explained.
France became the ninth European country and the 14th in the world to legalise marriage equality last year.
The passing of the law, which also legalised adoption by gay couples, divided the country and saw a wave of massive anti-gay protests along with a spike in hate crime attacks against gay people.
In October, it was reported that France’s highest court ruled that mayors opposed to same sex-marriage cannot opt out of marrying same-sex couples.