The partner of a police officer killed in an ISIS-inspired terror attack on Champs-Elysees in Paris married him posthumously this week.
Xavier Jugelé, 37, was on duty when he was shot and killed by a gunman on April 20, just days before the French election.
On Tuesday, Jugelé was married to his partner, Etienne Cardiles, in a town hall ceremony in Paris attended by the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, and former French president Francois Hollande, according to French and British media.
Posthumous marriage is legal, but rare, in France, according to CNN.
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Applicants must show serious grounds and prove the deceased wanted to marry. Approval is left to the French president. Hollande reportedly gave permission for the union before he left office.
France is one of the few countries where posthumous marriages are allowed by law, the BBC reported. This week’s ceremony is believed to be the first posthumous gay wedding to take place in France and possibly the world, the BBC said.
The country joined Cardiles in his grief after he gave an emotional tribute at police headquarters to his partner, who had championed the rights of LGBT officers on the force.
“When I first got messages saying something had happened on the Champs-Elysees, 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,’ ” Cardiles said.
“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.”
According to The Guardian, Jugelé had been among the first responders to the attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris in November 2015, where gunmen killed 90 people.
He went back a year later when the theater reopened, telling the BBC: “I want to celebrate life and say ‘no’ to terrorism.”
He and Cardiles were in a civil partnership and had no children.
“A life of joy and laughter, in which love and tolerance were your uncontested masters,” Cardiles said at his now-husband’s eulogy. “You lived like a star, you leave like a star.”