The first gay couple that was allowed to be married under current French law enjoyed a very special ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, as the hundreds of invited guests included the likes of at least one government minister.
Outside the Montpellier city hall in southern France, hundreds more gathered as 30-year-old Bruno Boileau and his partner Vincent Autin, 40, took part in a particularly public wedding that was in fact broadcast live to the entire nation of France.
According to the Associated Press, despite the tempestuous political controversy that underlined this historic event, Autin and Boileau paid no mind to protestors or critics, as they "sealed the deal with a lengthy and very public kiss."
Due to the political controversy surrounding the new gay marriage law that was passed in France earlier this month, tight police surveillance was a necessary component to the very public wedding, especially as there has been an incredibly intense degree of what AP referred to as "bruising opposition" to the aforementioned law.
Autin and Boileau's wedding ceremony itself went off without a hitch, but the crowds in the square outside -- composed somewhat of staunch protestors against gay marriage -- did not fare quite as well. At least one detractor had to be forcefully removed by police when he began shouting threats at and tried to advance on the near-wedded couple as they were escorted inside previous to the proceedings.
The back of city hall also became a disruptive scene in which police were forced to employ tear gas in order to get protestors to disperse from closing in.
Back at the wedding, meanwhile, Frank Sinatra's iconic "Love and Marriage" blared at the conclusion of the vow exchange between Autin and Boileau who were clearly aware of the political steps they were taking but also were far more interested at the time in the celebration aspect of the event.
"Even if we have passed the hurdle of equality, there are still more battles to fight... But for now, it's a moment for festivity, for love," Autin said.
Autin and Boileau were not the only ones delighted by the "stage in the modernization of our country," as Montpellier's own Mayor Helene Mandroux put it. Mandroux herself, who officiated over the ceremony, joined the married couple as, after the ceremony was completed, they walked hand-in-hand to the balcony of city hall where they waved to well-wishers outside.
The couple, who have both taken on the monikers of "Messieurs Bruno et Vincent Boileau-Autin" held a separate, more intimate ceremony for friends and family later Wednesday evening.
What are your thoughts about gay marriage now being allowed in France? What about the first ceremony having been broadcast live to the entire nation? Sound off in the comments below!
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