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For Xavier Jugelé, an Everyday Hero
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of April 30, 2017, updated on June 1st, 2017) A gay policeman and activist for LGBT rights who became the victim of a crazy assassin in Paris: Xavier Jugelé who died during his service and who was officially honored.
Before the attack on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on April 20, 2017, he was just a policeman who passionately did his service and stood up for LGBT interests. He was 37 years old, partnered with Étienne Cardiles and a great fan of Céline Dion.
A red carpet for the deceased… and for his boyfriend
There he was, at the state funeral with official speakers and posthumous tribute, in front of microphones and cameras, the lined-up policemen and the politicians, the president, the family and millions of TV spectators: The partner and widow of the murdered police officer. His personal and beautiful funeral speech was very moving.
Étienne Cardiles’ very moving speech for his murdered boyfriend Xavier Jugelé.
Visible support by the government
Étienne Cardiles did not just step back into the second row and stay quiet. To the contrary, he stole the show from all the others, with their approval and even with their active support.
French president François Hollande has frequently been criticized during his term. However, his term started in 2012 with the opening of marriage for same-sex couples, and it ends now in 2017 with a big funeral and official tribute to a gay policeman by his boyfriend, who is now his widower.
At eye level with this special occasion
Étienne Cardiles quickly drew the media attention onto himself. He found the right tone with his sincere and dignified words. His funeral speech for his dead partner Xavier Jugelé was very appropriate, highly moving and just beautiful. The lined-up policemen and other guests were having tears in their eyes.
Here is a TV report of the funeral service of April 25, when just under 300 people were defying the rain and paying tribute to the life of the murdered policeman.
With dignity and political consensus
It is noteworthy to say that there was no criticism or negative comment from any of the political parties, not even those commonly known as homophobic. The minister of the interior strongly criticized the few insults and attacks on social media and wants to go after them.
The two presidential candidates have not tried either to exploit the events for their own political purposes.
A May 17 unlike any others
Xavier Jugelé’s died just a month before the International Day agains Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. As always, the TV stations and media will use this special day for their reports and programming – but in France, and possibly in other countries, too, there will undoubtedly be discussions in which the story of Xavier Jugelé and his partner Étienne Cardiles will play a role.
Farewell Xavier, and thank you for your service!
Posthumous wedding for Xavier Jugelé
On May 30, 2017, i.e. with posthumous effect, police officer Xavier Jugelé married his partner Étienne Cardiles with whom he had already lived in civil partnership (“PACS”). The wedding was celebrated in the XIVth arrondissement of Paris in the presence of Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, and François Hollande, the former French president.
The current president Emmanuel Macron was not present but he had previously signed the decree for this exceptional wedding between Xavier and Étienne. Moreover, he had invited Étienne to his inauguration at the Élysée Palace.
The following video shows the posthumous wedding (in French, with French subtitles):
To our knowledge, this is the first posthumous LGBT wedding in France. Article 171 of the French civil code allows such acts for widows and widowers in very special cases and if the deceased lost his or her life while exercising a public-service activity (e.g. as a policeman, firefighter, judge or soldier) or by force majeure, or if he/she has shown exceptional heroism. In addition, the surviving partner has to prove the deceased's wedding intentions beyond doubt.