The mayor of Paris’s 8th borough (arrondissement), François Lebel, stated, in his official municipal publication, that France’s upcoming legalization of same-sex marriage could open the door to polygamy, incest and paedophilia.
Quoted in the French daily Libération, Lebel wrote: 'If the immemorial taboo of heterosexual marriage will be blown away, who and what will now oppose that other taboos, much less ancient, much less universal, will fall in turn?’, asked Lebel, who states that he is ‘personally opposed to a marriage of this nature’.
'For example: how could we oppose polygamy in France tomorrow, which is taboo in Western civilization? Why should a legal age for marriage be maintained? Why continue to prohibit consanguineous marriage, paedophilia, incest that are practices still commonplace worldwide?
‘The door is now open to a lethal spectacle of the age of legal marriage with everyone doing anything with anyone and anything!’, he concluded.
François Lebel, a member of the opposition right wing party UMP, who was not available for comments, was clear that he had written his critique of marriage equality before a similar condemnation from France's Catholic Cardinal Philippe Barbarin.
Former prime Minister of France, François Fillon, of the UMP, refused to condemn Lebel’s statements: ‘I think that the president of the republic and the prime minister would do well to think twice before opening this debate [on gay marriage] now.
‘Because I think that in our current political, social and economic climate that is o, we will attend the proliferation of these kinds of arguments (...) on both sides.
We will see deeply divided and offended French [people].
We will see the return of homophobia’, warned François Fillon who is also a candidate to the presidency of the UMP party.
Others politicians strongly condemned Lebel’s statements.
The leader of the Left Front in the council of Paris, Ian Brossat, slammed Mr. Lebel words as ‘monstrous’ saying that: ‘they are clearly homophobic. It is distressing that a borough mayor transforms a municipal newsletter in tabloid of the far right at the expense of the taxpayer'.
Christophe Girard mayor of the 9th borough of Paris, of the ruling socialist party, tweeted that Lebel’s statement was 'pathetic and insulting to millions of men and women who love like everyone else'.
Mayor of the 1st district Jean-François Legaret and leader of the UMP in the council of Paris council also disapproved of Lebel’s statements: ‘these are words that I obviously do not share and do not seem likely to advance thinking on the law’.
French Association of LGBT families (ADFH) denounced Lebel's statement: 'It is by constant undermining of the identity and family life that some people like François Lebel help fuel homophobia'.