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In France, A Gag Order For Weddings Raises Suspicions Of Racism

LE PARISIEN, LE MONDE (France)

NICE - In the French Riviera city of Nice, couples must now marry in silence. Or at least, not so noisily. Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi pushed through a controversial decree last week forbidding married couples to celebrate their wedding too loudly within the walls of the city.

Since June 1, whistles, shouting and "folk music" are forbidden during wedding celebrations, with authorities charged with shutting down weddings that flaunt the ban. But what has raised suspicion that the decree targets marriages of immigrant and ethnic French: foreign flags are also now forbidden at weddings in Nice.

According to Estrosi, quoted by Le Parisien, such effusive behavior "disturbs the residents' tranquility and the solemn nature of the occasion." But according to his detractors, such a measure is above all an attempt to stigmatize people from other cultures.

A fake wedding was organized on June 2 to denounce the decree (see video below). The mouths of the married couple were gagged, and about 40 guests were holding signs saying "Hush" or "Silence, We're Getting Married." The idea was to "feign a wedding as quiet as possible," Le Monde reports.

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