Council rules French mayors can't refuse to perform same-sex marriage

Oct. 18, 2013 at 9:50 AM

PARIS, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- France's top legal body Friday upheld a government edict that mayors can be punished if they refuse to perform same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The Constitutional Council said a circular from Interior Minister Manuel Valls saying mayors could not refuse to officiate at the ceremonies "has not infringed their freedom of conscience," Radio France International reported.

The circular was issued in May after passage of a law allowing same-sex marriage. It said refusal to perform a marriage could be punished by a five-year prison term and a $10,200 fine. Mayors also could be suspended or removed from office.

Some mayors have refused to perform same-sex marriages but have not been punished, officials said.

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