Posthumous marriage for French policeman

Marriage|June 1st 2017

A French policeman who was killed by a supporter of Isis earlier this year has been posthumously married.

Xavier Jugelé was shot dead in April while on duty on the famous Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris and a note in defence of the extremist group was found near the body.

The 37 year-old police officer had served in the French capital since 2014, having moved there from the Loire Valley region. He was also a long-time activist for gay rights across France.

Following his death, his civil partner Etienne Cardiles arranged to officially convert their relationship into a marriage. Former President Francois Hollande and Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, were among those in attendance at the ceremony.

France’s legal provision for posthumous marriages was enacted in the 1950s shortly after the tragic collapse of a dam in the south-east of the country. The fiancée of one of the 423 people killed in the subsequent flood asked then-President Charles de Gaulle for permission to go ahead with her marriage plans regardless. She had support from the media and it did not take long before posthumous marriage was incorporated into France’s civil code.

The new provision was an extension of a previous law allowing “proxy marriages” which was used during the First World War to allow women to marry soldiers killed in action.

Although such ceremonies have been available for decades, the marriage of Jugelé and Cardiles marks a first for a same sex couple in France and possibly the world.

Photo of the Champs-Élysées in Paris by Shabai Liu via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.

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  1. John Martin says:

    Truly honourable gesture and worthy of incorporation into civil law in Western Europe.

    • Joe Smith says:

      It’s horrible his partner was killed by ISIS but how can you believe this is normal and not see it as a slippery slope? If you think this isn’t going too far, then what is? Where would you draw the line? So the living can marry the dead? Will the dead be able to marry the dead? Suppose an engaged couple dies days before the wedding in an accident or something. Should laws allow their parents to decide if they should still be married?

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