Jean-Michel Colo, mayor of the southwestern French city of Arcangues, is making headlines by openly defying the country's new marriage equality law and refusing to marry same-sex couples, in violation of his civic responsibilities.
In an interview with France Television, Colo said:
When people close the door at home, they do what they want. For me, marriage is for a woman and man to have children. I am not discriminating as a same-sex couple is sterile. It's a parody of equality, it's a big lie.
While Colo is of course free to believe whatever he wishes in the privacy of his own heart, he is not free to pick and choose what laws he wishes to obey in his official capacity as Mayor of Arcangues. And to the French government's credit, they aren't backing down from enforcing the new marriage equality law: Interior Minister Manuel Valls told the media that Colo faced "significant sanctions" if he refused to comply, saying that the mayor would be guilty of discrimination, which is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of €45,000 ($59,769).
The Committee to Defend Gay Rights says it will formally report Colo for discrimination if he does not back down from his exclusionary threats.