Slain French officer receives posthumous marriage to gay partner

Etienne Cardiles delivers a speech during a ceremony for his partner, police officer Xavier Jugele, at the Paris police headquarters on April 24. They were married in a posthumous ceremony Tuesday. Jugele was killed by a militant gunman on the Champs Elysees. File Photo by Ian Langsdon/EPA

May 31 (UPI) — The French police officer killed in a terrorist attack in April was married posthumously to his gay partner Tuesday.

Former President Francois Hollande and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo attended the ceremony of Officer Xavier Jugele and Etienne Cardiles.

On April 20, Jugele, 37, was shot dead while on duty on Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue. Two other officers were wounded in the attack by the suspect, Karim Cheurfi, who was shot dead by security forces. Found near his body was a note defending the Islamic State.

Jugele, who campaigned for gay rights, was in a civil partnership and did not have children.

France is one of the few countries where posthumous marriages are permitted legally.

The law in France states that posthumous marriages are allowed when there are “significant grounds” for the service. The president can authorize the marriage if the deceased had “unequivocal” desire to get married.

Hollande also posthumously made him a knight of the Legion d’Honneur, one of France’s highest honors, during a ceremony on April 25.

Cardiles said the killer would “not have my hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat nor what made you a guardian of the peace.”

Jugele was among the first responders to the Bataclan theater in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, when militants massacred 90 concertgoers. Another 40 people died in coordinated attacks at the national stadium and local restaurants.

When the venue opened a year later for a concert by Sting, Jugele told a BBC interviewer he wanted “to celebrate life and say ‘no’ to terrorism,”


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