France Registers Its First Same-Sex Marriage

Vincent Autin (left) and Bruno Boileau after their marriage

Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau have become the first gay couple to be married in France after same-sex marriages were legalized in the country. The marriage ceremony was held in the city of Montpellier – considered the most gay friendly city- amidst heavy security.

French assembly recently passed a new bill that legalizes same-sex marriages and also gives same-sex couples adoption rights. The passage of the bill was preceded by massive demonstrations in France, both for and against it. Gay rights groups and their allies had held demonstrations seeking the passage of the bill by the Parliament, whereas conservatives Catholic Church protested against the bill and held massive rallies in the country. France has been rocked by protests even after the passage of the bill, and the protests have in some cases turned violent and there have been reports of attacks on gay people too. The Bill was finally signed into law by President Francois Hollande 10 days ago.

Anticipating trouble, nearly 200 police personnel were deployed in the city. The wedding was held in the City Hall and was attended by over 500 guests. Vincent Autin, 40, is a gay rights activist who met Bruno Boileau, 30, in 2006. The Socialist mayor of Montpellier, Helene Mandroux, conducted the ceremony, announcing, “I now pronounce you united in marriage.” The newly married couple also expressed their desire to have children. “We want children, we want to pass down values that are important to us, that we hold dear, that are right. And we want grandchildren and great-grandchildren, a real family,” Boileau said to CNN.