A French mayor who staunchly opposes same-sex marriage has been accused of hypocrisy after officiating his own son’s wedding to another man.
Despite condemning same-sex unions as “not what nature intended” Raymond Bardet, the mayor of the south-eastern town of Ville-la-Grand, said he didn’t think twice about performing the wedding ceremony for his son.
Same sex-marriage proved a divisive issue in France until it was legalised last year. To make his feelings clear on the debate, Mr Bardet, 72, even held a mock gay marriage between two of his male staff in the town hall's directors of technical services and communications in January 2013.
According to Pink News, he told Le Dauphiné Libéré: “My son was getting married, there was no question of letting anyone else do it.
“If I had asked a deputy to celebrate the marriage, people could have thought that I was criticising my son or that we had fallen out.
He told the newspaper he only found out his son was gay three months ago and had never discussed same-sex marriage with him prior to this.
“I am his father and I would be the one to celebrate his union, as I would have done for his sister," he said.
“I didn’t know his partner, but he’s a good person and they make a beautiful couple together. I saw two smart men, very content together.
However, Mr Bardet was quick to insist his controversial views remain unchanged, stressing his son’s wedding would be the only same-sex union he would officiate.
"It won't happen again," he added. "I have certain opinions and I hold them firmly."