A district mayor in Paris is under fire after announcing that he will refuse to conduct same-sex marriages after he said they could open the door to the approval of polygamous or incestuous unions.

Francois Lebel, the mayor of the capital’s 8th district who married former President Nicolas Sarkozy and ex-supermodel Carla Bruni, has been widely condemned for his comments by politicians from across the political spectrum.

Mr Lebel, writing in a local newspaper this week, said changing France’s marriage laws would set a dangerous precedent.

According to AFP, his comments have been condemned by President Francois Hollande and by leaders of his own party, the UMP.

Last month, Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris and one of France’s few openly gay politicians, strongly criticised a Catholic archbishop who refused to apologise for saying that equal marriage would herald a “breakdown” in French society.

A marriage equality bill is currently awaiting the approval of the country’s cabinet.

Francois Holland has already pledged that he will extend the right of marriage to French same-sex couples, along with giving them adoption rights.

However, some campaigners are disappointed that access to fertility treatment for gay couples will apparently not be included in the provision.