One of the leaders of France’s vocal anti-equal marriage campaign has sent her “best wishes” to the first gay couple to marry in the country, in a historic ceremony in Montpellier on Wednesday, but has vowed to keep fighting to now attempt a repeal of the country’s new equal marriage law.
Vincent Autin, a 40-year-old PR firm head, and his husband Bruno Boileau, a 29-year-old government worker, were married in Montpellier’s town hall on Wednesday afternoon. The City’s Mayor, officiating, called the ceremony an “historic moment”, and said the couple represented a “united France”.
Frigide Barjot, one of the leaders of the campaign against the legalisation of equal marriage, sent a message to the couple on Wednesday, to say: “Best wishes of commitment, loyalty and happiness”
The comedian – real name Virginie Tellene – a born-again Catholic and reactionary comedian, brought together various Christian, conservative, and far-right groups together to rally against marriage equality earlier this year under the name Manif pour Tous (Demo for All).
She is now calling for the campaign to be renamed and rebranded, Future for All, and has said that its initial goal should be to have politicians to add the repeal of the equal marriage and adoption law, to their election platforms.
These moves have been seen as some as a way of moving the campaign away from links to violence, which has occurred during some of the protests in past months, which have seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets of several French cities against equal marriage.
Following months of sometimes violent protests, and a substantial rise in homophobic attacks, French President Hollande signed the law making France the fourteenth country in the world to allow equal marriage, two weeks ago.
On Sunday, at the end of a day of tense, but relatively peaceful anti-equal marriage protests, which saw tens of thousands take to the streets of Paris, riot police clashed with hundreds of violent demonstrators.