A mayor in southwestern France refused to marry a gay couple Friday, defying the nation's newly enacted marriage equality law. But the mayor would consider marrying two women, reports France's English-language news source The Local.
Claude Binaud, the 77-year-old six-term mayor of Matha, reportedly told Bernard Rouhaud and his partner that he would not issue a marriage license to the couple.
"There's no doubt, I will not marry them, not two boys," Binaud told local daily paper Sud-Ouest. "I don't find [gay marriage] normal. We're touching on something central to society here — the family."
But that concern for family is apparently what led the mayor to speculate that he might marry two women, if he were forced to do so.
"Two girls, I might have said yes, if my back was against the wall," continued Binaud. "But that's totally different — they can have children."
Binaud suggested that a town councillor officiate at Rouhaud's wedding August 3, reports The Local.
But that compromise might not be good enough for national authorities, as France's interior minister, Manuel Valls, warned mayors last week that anyone refusing to marry same-sex couples will find themselves in violation of the new law, which took effect May 30. Valls was responding to reports that a mayor from another southwestern town had refused to officiate a gay couple's wedding, and noted that state officials who refuse to marry same-sex couples could face up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 Euros for their discriminatory practice that's at odds with nationwide law.