The Association of Rural French Mayors (AMRF), with nearly 10,000 members, has declared they are against a proposed clause which would allow mayors the right to choose whether to perform homosexual marriages.
The collective for mayors for childhood called for an amendment to the draft law earlier this month.
In a press release, the AMRF said: “Mayors are officers of the civil state, and regardless of their personal opinions, they must carry out what is written in law.
“The AMRF can therefore not support the idea of a personal opinion clause, which would allow those [against gay marriage] to excuse themselves from applying the law.
“It would be unthinkable for citizens that the first magistrate of their area holds an opinion which goes against the law.”
Despite its opposition to the personal opinion clause, the association has pointedly not expressed a view on the general principle of gay marriage, claiming the subject is “not a priority”.
Meanwhile, socialist mayor of Lyon, Gérard Collomb, showed a lack of enthusiasm for the new law during an interview on French radio station Europe 1.
He said he had spent a long time thinking about gay marriage and adoption rights, and counts among his friends homosexuals who “do not necessarily want to get married”.
“I think there is something [about this law] which will be more significant in the long term, and that is - us copying what they do in the United States in France.“In California for example, there is a veritable industry for supplying children. And that, that would be a real difficulty for our society.”
The gay marriage law, one of President François Hollande’s campaign promises, is due to be discussed in parliament on November 7, and passed by mid 2013.