On May 18th 2013, France enacted legislation known as “Marriage for All” thereby becoming the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriages. Such couples are permitted to adopt children, but a move to see medically assisted procreation made available to them was dropped amidst protest.
The nationals of 11 countries with whom France had previously signed bilateral conventions accepting that such nationals were subject to the marriage laws of their home countries are excluded from being permitted to marry under the legislation.
“Marriage for All” has provoked acrimonious debate & massive, sometimes violent protests. Protestors argue that a radical redefinition of marriage, a fundamental change to the concept of family & the destruction of children’s sense of where they come from has been forced upon a large section of the population without their consent.
While debate continues to rage, two ladies got married in Bora Bora on New Year’s Day 2014. This would be the first for Bora Bora, and a first LGBTQ+ wedding in all of French Polynesia. Rather than demonstrations, there was a large & enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers for what was a moving & emotional ceremony.
The Marriage Hall was packed to the rafters, as was every vantage point from the outside. One of those engaged, a pedagogical counselor, saw a large contingent from the teaching professions present.
A closer look at the bridal party & marriage celebrants who performed this totally civil ceremony.
An (optional) exchange of vows, this time in the song, saw many of those present shed more than a tear.
The marriage celebrant gets down to the task at hand, officially marrying the couple.
At the very moment of the goal being achieved, the sheer joy of the participants is readily apparent:
The hall erupted in great applause! With this ring, I thee wed…………..
The signing of the marriage certificates; much to smile about:
The happy couple walks through a wall of petals before heading by catamaran to the reception on the motus: