In Tight Election, French President Hedges on Marriage Equality
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy may change his views on same-sex marriage in order to defeat his rival in the upcoming elections, the conservative right wing website Life Site News reported.
Sarkozy is falling behind his opponent Francois Hollande, who supports marriage equality, in the polls. Now the French president says he will create a marriage ceremony that would be performed by the government. The new measure would be part of France's Pact of Civil Solidarity (PACS), which is similar to a civil union in the U.S.
"I am ready to propose -- it would be a matter of a decree-that the marriage ceremony, for a homosexual PACS, be made a right," Sarkozy said in an interview with the French magazine Tetu. He added, "the ceremony would permit a true social acceptance" same-sex relationships.
Sarkozy went on to say that he supports non-traditional families as well.
"A family can be one father-one mother, two fathers or two mothers. I think that it's necessary to leave the situation as it is, in a somewhat unclear area, that we are not obligated to legislate everything, to vote for laws for everything," Sarkozy said.
Hollande told the gay glossy magazine Tetu that he wants to legalize gay marriage in the country by early 2013. According to several opinion polls, the majority of the French public support marriage equality, Life Site News points out.
"I know that the first months of the parliamentary session will be essentially committed to elements of financial planning, so I prefer to be honest: if we want a good debate, it's better to start at the beginning of 2013 and to finish by spring," Hollande told Tetu.
But just last month, Sarkozy was interviewed by a conservative French magazine and he told the publication that he would not support gay marriage in his re-election platform.
"In troubled times, when our society needs to keep its bearings, I don't think that it is necessary to blur the image of this essential social institution that is marriage," Sarkozy said.
He also told the magazine that even though he won't back gay marriage he would support other rights for gays, including inheritance rights. But Sarkozy went on to say that he is against civil unions because it would "tend to harm the institution of marriage."
"I know that there exists, in fact, particular situations with men and with women who assume their parental roles perfectly. But they do not lead me to think that it is necessary to inscribe in law a new definition of family," Sarkozy said.