Gay activists in France who staged a mock wedding in the country’s most famous church have been fined one euro (68p) by a court.
In June 2005 a lesbian couple in wedding dresses walked up the aisle of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and an activist dressed as a priest conducted a mock ceremony.
In front of shocked tourists, the lesbian couple exchanged rings and kissed, while protesters from Act Up Paris handed out leaflets accusing the Roman Catholic church of homophobia.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Australia reports that the Archdiocese of Paris said that the protest: “shocked many people of different faiths, whether believers or not, both in France and beyond.”
In March France’s highest court ruled that the marriage of two men was unlawful and should be annulled.
Stephane Charpin and Bertrang Charpentier were married in Begles, a small town in Bordeaux, in 2004.
They are the only same-sex couple in France to have married, rather than undertaken a Civil Solidarity Pact.
French same-sex couples who enter into Civil Solidarity Pacts already enjoy many of the rights that heterosexual married couples have, although couples are not able to adopt or have artificial insemination.
Same-sex marriage has become an issue in the French Presidential elections.
Socialist candidate Ségolène Royal has said that if elected, she would legalise same-sex marriage, while the conservative UMP party candidate Nicolas Sarkozy opposes any such move.
France will vote for the next President on May 6th.