France high court demands mayors conduct gay marriages

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Under a France high court ruling handed down on Friday, mayors can no longer refuse to marry gay couples.

The country legalized same-sex marriage in May. But protests raged on — some, violently — and many mayors outright refused to perform the ceremonies, citing personal morals, BBC reported. They took the matter to court, arguing the law should have a caveat, a “freedom of conscience” clause that allowed for religious or moral exemptions.

But the nation’s high court shot down that argument.

The Constitutional Council ruled the law did not grant mayors any “conscience clause” to opt out of the ceremonies.

Still, the fight may continue. The mayors said on previous occasions that if the court didn’t grant their petition, they would appeal their cause to the European Court of Human Rights.

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