Posthumous wedding for French policeman killed in ISIS attack
The partner of a French gay policeman who was killed in a terrorist attack has remembered him in a posthumous wedding ceremony this week.
Policeman Xavier Jugelé was killed in the attack on the Champs-Élysées by a gunman in April.
Mr Jugelé was shot in the head and killed in the attack, while two other officers were seriously injured.
The heroic police officer was survived by his partner Etienne Cardiles, who was distraught to lose the love of his life.
Mr Cardiles honoured his late partner in a ceremony in Paris on Tuesday, according to French media reports, tying the knot in a posthumous wedding ceremony.
A rare French tradition, posthumous marriage is legally permitted in France in exceptional cases. It must be authorised by the country’s President and can only take place only if it is possible to prove the deceased’s wishes to marry.
Due to the rarity of the tradition, it is believed to be the first ever posthumous same-sex wedding anywhere in the world.
Former French President François Hollande was present at the wedding as well as Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo.
At a previous remembrance ceremony after the attack, Cardiles spoke about his late partner describing him as “a man full of culture and joy”.
He also told the crowd that he was “suffering without hate”.
Addressing directly his deceased partner, Cardiles said: “When I first got messages saying something had happened on the Champs-Élysées, and that a policeman had died, a small voice told me it was you, and brought back to me that generous and healing phrase: ‘You will not have my hatred.’
“I don’t feel hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you – because it does not correspond to anything that made your heart beat, nor why you entered the police force.
“Because public service, helping others and protecting everyone was part of your education and your convictions – and tolerance, dialogue and patience.”
Jugelé was a member of Flag!, police force’s LGBT group and had previously campaigned for LGBT rights within the police service.
The policeman was also posthumously made knight of the Legion of Honour by Hollande, receiving one of the greatest honours in France.
Former presidential candidate Marine LePen’s father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the party National Front in 1972, condemned Cardiles’ speech.
He said: “The long speech he made in some ways institutionalised homosexual marriage.”
Jugelé was one of the first responders after the attack on the Bataclan theatre in November 2015, where gunmen loyal to so-called IS killed 90 people.