January 22, 2016 at 12:03 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Nicolas Sarkozy no longer seeks repeal of French marriage law

Nicolas Sarkozy, gay news, Washington Blade

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in his new book says he no longer supports the repeal of his country’s same-sex marriage law. (Photo by א, courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy says he no longer supports a repeal of his country’s same-sex marriage law.

Le Figaro, a French newspaper, on Thursday published excerpts of Sarkozy’s new book in which he says he has “evolved” on the issue.

“I do no wish to legislate it again because the priority should be to bring the French people together,” Sarkozy writes, according to Le Figaro. “This is a point upon which, I assume, I have evolved.”

France’s same-sex marriage law that President François Hollande signed took effect in 2013.

Sarkozy told a French television station in 2014 that he “detested” the way Hollande and his Socialist government “forced” marriage rights for same-sex couples to become law. The twice-divorced former French president said the statute is “humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family.”

“Upon reflection, I fear that, given the state of tension and division in French society brought about because of François Hollande’s methods, the cure is worse than the disease,” Sarkozy writes in his book, according to Le Figaro.

Former president’s position ‘blah blah blah’

Sarkozy’s comments come in the wake of last month’s regional elections in which his conservative party made significant gains.

La Manif Pour Tous, a group opposed to France’s same-sex marriage law, ran a number of candidates on Sarkozy’s party line. The organization on Friday sharply criticized the former French president over his comments.

“Nicolas Sarkozy has apparently abandoned his convictions,” said La Manif Pour Tous in a statement.

Sarkozy expected to challenge Hollande in next year’s presidential election.

“I’m happy he changed is mind, but the Republicans still support open homophobia movements,” Arnaud Gauthier-Fawas, a French LGBT rights advocate, told the Washington Blade on Friday from Paris, referring to Sarkozy’s party. “He is running for presidential election now. He needs to be more centrist. That is where he can win more votes.

“So it’s just blah blah blah,” added Gauthier-Fawas.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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