France: Former President Sarkozy condemned by key allies for call to scrap equal marriage
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been condemned by a number of his political allies, after he called for same-sex marriage to be repealed.
Same-sex weddings began in the country in May last year under Socialist François Hollande, and since the laws took effect over 7,000 gay and lesbian couples have married.
However, former UMP leader Nicolas Sarkozy – who was President until 2012 – this week called for the law, which also legalises gay adoption, to be scrapped if his party gets back into power.
He had called for the laws to be “rewritten from the ground up”, but then changed his mind to say: “If you prefer that I say repeal the law… it comes down to the same thing.”
However, the move has not gone down well with those previously closely allied to the former President.
Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet – who served as Sarkozy’s Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, and helped run his Presidential campaign – said she was “not at all in agreement” with the plan to repeal the law according to the Telegraph.
Meanwhile, former Minister of the Budget Valérie Pécresse warned it would not be “humanely possible” to repeal the law, while MP Christian Estrosi – a staunch Sarkozy supporter – broke ranks to say the law signified “progress” in France.
Such a move could leave thousands of legally married couples without legal protections or rights – and would split apart families who have already adopted.
Despite his calls, polls have consistently found the public support both same-sex unions and adoption – with 68 percent and 53 percent in favour of each respectively.
Sarkozy had pledged to deliver civil unions during his first term in office in 2007 – a promise which he later broke, scrapping the planned reform.
In July, Sarkozy was charged with corruption by French prosecutors – and could face up to ten years in prison for the crimes.
He has been married three times.