CELEBRATION OF THE FIRST FRENCH GAY WEDDING IN BEGLES BETWEEN CHAPIN AND CHARPENTIER.
Stephane Chapin (L) and Bertrand Charpentier (R) step off town hall of Begles, near Bordeaux, southwestern France, June 5, 2004 just after their marriage. The two men exchanged marriage vows on Saturday in France's first gay wedding, hailed by supporters as a victory for human rights but swiftly denounced by the government as illegal. Mayor Noel Mamere, who is leading an assault on traditional family values, defied Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin to wed the two men. Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin announced the mayor would face legal action. REUTERS/Antoine Marescaux