The Guardian 16 November 2014
The former French president Nicolas Sarkozy has told supporters that the country’s same-sex marriage law should be scrapped.
Sarkozy, who is campaigning to lead the opposition centre-right UMP party and is expected to run again for president in 2017, was speaking at a debate organised by the conservative Common Sense (Sens Commun) group on Saturday.
Referring to the “mariage pour tous” or “marriage for all” legislation passed by France’s Socialist government last year, he said it needed “rewriting from top to bottom”.
His comments, two weeks before the UMP’s hotly contested leadership election, prompted catcalls from the 3,000-strong audience and cries of “Repeal! Repeal!”. Sarkozy, appearing rattled, responded: “If you’d rather one says repeal the law and make another one … in French, that’s saying the same thing. It comes to the same result. But hey, if that makes you happy, then frankly, it doesn’t cost much.”
Sarkozy explained he was in favour of some form of marriage for same-sex couples, but something different from that for heterosexuals. He said he opposed surrogate parenthood for same-sex couples.