Is the mayor obliged to solemnise a wedding?
Verified 16 September 2021 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice
No, the mayor is not obliged to solemnise a marriage.
Celebration by Mayor or Deputy
The mayor and his deputies are all registrars. A wedding may therefore be celebrated indistinctly by the mayor or one of his deputies.
In the event of the absence or incapacity of the mayor and the deputies, the mayor may delegate the duties of registrar to municipal councillors.
Municipal councillors who received this delegation can perform marriages.
Cases of unlawful refusal to perform marriage
The mayor or another registrar may refuse to perform a marriage only if there is an impediment (a formality not performed, for example). Otherwise, refusal is illegal.
For example, the refusal to perform a marriage should not be discriminatory (for example, foreigners, same-sex couples, divorced or divorced persons, political opponents).
Responsibility of the mayor in case of illegal refusal
If the refusal to perform the marriage is illegal, the prospective spouses can ask the judge to compel the mayor to perform the marriage. They may also request damages.
The couple referred the matter to the president of the court in referenced.
Who shall I contact
In case of discriminatory conduct, the prospective spouses may lodge a complaint discrimination to public prosecutor.
a mayor's refusal to marry himself or herself should not be confused with the refusal of a municipality to register a marriage file, which is a different act.
- General Code for Local and Regional Authorities: Articles L2122-7 to L2122-17Penalties against a mayor or deputy (Articles L2122-16 and L2122-17)
- General Code for Local and Regional Authorities: Articles L2122-27 to L2122-34-1Function of the mayor's and deputy's registrars (Articles L2122-32)
- General Code for Local and Regional Authorities: items R2122-10 to R2122-11Delegation to the municipal councillors - Information from the public prosecutor about the celebration of a wedding in a communal building
- Circular of 13 June 2013 on the consequences of unlawful refusal to perform a marriage (PDF - 74.1 KB)