France gay couple370.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The first gay couple to be legally wed in France were in high spirits on Friday while attending the Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade as part of their honeymoon trip.
Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were invited by Tel Aviv’s Global & Tourism Company and were hosted by the French Embassy in Israel and the Diaghilev Live Art boutique hotel.
At the end of May they became the first gay couple to wed since France became the 14th country to permit samesex marriage.
“We were honored to receive the invitation, and we are happy to have the opportunity to get to know this beautiful country and the Israeli LGBT community,” Boileau told The Jerusalem Post.
The couple, who identify themselves as atheists, said they were not in Israel to discover any religious connections.
“Our religion is love,” said Autin.
“We’ve heard a lot about Tel Aviv and we understand that is a very important place for the global LGBT community,” explained Boileau.
“Everyone knows that Tel Aviv has one of the biggest gay pride events in the world and we think that we have a responsibility inside the gay community to be present here.”
When asked about their newfound fame, Boileau shrugged it off and said the fanfare will die down soon and that they are just a regular couple who want to get on with their lives and adopt children.
French Ambassador Christophe Bigot, who was hosting the couple, told the Post that Autin and Boileau embody the young generation of freeand- liberal French people, and it is important for them to promote tolerance and understanding around the world.
He explained that the initiative to invite the couple was in order to create new links between France and Israel.
“We have economic ties and it’s also important to create cultural ties,” Bigot said. “Tel Aviv is known as being very gay-friendly and we wanted to strengthen the connection that our countries share on this issue.”
Autin and Boileau took part in the gay pride celebrations, which saw some 100,000 people in the city revel in their pride at being gay.
The couple were among the guests of honor at the opening event that saw thousands crammed into Gan Meir park for a community happening, complete with musical performances and information booths representing local organizations.
There were speeches from public figures such as Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat, opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich and Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On.
Autin and Boileau joined the colorful parade which was acclaimed by tens of thousands of supporters waving pride flags and enjoying the fine summer day.°