Skip to main content

French court rules mayors cannot block same-sex marriage

By Pierre Meilhan and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 11:50 AM EDT, Sun October 20, 2013
Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were the first same-sex couple to marry in France in May 2013.
Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were the first same-sex couple to marry in France in May 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • France's top court says mayors cannot block gay marriages based on their personal beliefs
  • A group of seven mayors had filed an appeal with the Constitutional Council last month
  • The law was approved this year by France's parliament and signed off by the president
  • A growing number of countries around the world now allow same-sex marriage

(CNN) -- France's top court ruled Friday that French mayors cannot refuse to officiate same-sex marriages based on their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The Constitutional Council ruled that the same-sex marriage law does not infringe on the mayors' "freedom of conscience" and therefore should be applied.

A group of seven mayors had filed an appeal with the Constitutional Council on September 18 stating their opposition to conducting same-sex marriage.

A bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt was passed earlier this year by the French parliament and signed into law by President Francois Hollande.

A growing number of countries around the world now allow same-sex marriage, the majority of them in Europe.

The Netherlands was the first, in 2001, and it was later joined by Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Denmark and France. A bill to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales is also now law, though it isn't expected to come into force until 2014.

Argentina, Uruguay, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa are the non-European countries in the group, according to the Pew Research Center.

Same-sex marriage is also legal in some parts of Mexico and the United States.

French same-sex couple: Why we tied the knot

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:39 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT