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Not in Sotteville-sous-le-Val: Gay Pride march in Torremolinos, Spain 2019

French mayor faces complaint after disparaging remarks about same-sex marriage

Mayor Franck Meyer said he was “entitled” not to “marry two men and two women” in Sotteville-sous-le-Val, a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region in northern France.

Published: December 20, 2020, 9:19 am

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    He is now facing legal problems because of his position on same-sex marriage after two associations for the defense of the rights of the LGBT community complained, explained regional broadcaster France 3 on Thursday, December 17.

    The town councilor of 800 inhabitants had declared to Catholic daily La Croix at the end of October: “ I am in a situation where I consider myself entitled to do so, even if this right is refused to me by the Constitutional Council […] According to my own conscience, I will not marry two men and two women, therefore I am an outlaw.”

    On December 15, STOP homophobia and Mousse, the two associations in question, filed a complaint, according to information on Facebook.

    “Refusing to issue an identity card to a black person, refusing to enroll a person of Muslim faith in a school or refusing to marry two people of the same sex incur the same penalties,”, explained their lawyer, Étienne Deshoulières. He added: “In each of these cases, it is a matter of discrimination committed by a person holding public authority in the course of his duties.” The city councilor has been handed a fine of 75 000 euros and 5 years’ imprisonment.

    Franck Meyer subsequently reacted in a press release. He explained that he learned of the existence of a complaint “on the grounds that I had refused a homosexual marriage”.

    “This is incorrect, since no marriage proposal of a person of the same sex has ever been filed in the town hall of Sotteville-sous-le-Val,” replied the elected official, before specifying: “The only person who has mentioned this possibility, several years ago, did not live in Sotteville and was considering this prospect for the sole purpose of offering a situation to a person threatened with deportation […] I therefore formally dispute the accusations of discrimination brought against me.”

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