France: Karl Lagerfeld supports equal marriage with lesbian brides at couture show

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has used his lastest fashion show to support equal marriage amidst divides across France on the issue.

The long time Chanel couturier, Lagerfeld sent two brides down the catwalk together wearing bridal gowns.

The German designer tackled the issue at the peak of his latest show at Paris’ Grand Palais, and the two brides were accompanied by his own young nephew.

“I don’t even understand the debate. Since 1904 [in France] the church and state have been separate,” Lagerfeld said, speaking after the show.

He went on to attack the “intolerance” of religion, and said: “If [those against] want a sacred religious union, [they can] in the church, temple, cathedral, synagogue or mosque.”

He did, however, go on to say that he was opposed to the even more contentious issue of gay couples being allowed to adopt children, reports the Associated Press. 

On 7 November, French President Francois Hollande’s government approved a bill to legalise equal marriage and allow gay couples to adopt.  

When he introduced the bill, the same day that three US states – MaineMaryland and Washington – legalised equal marriage, President Hollande told his cabinet that it would mean “progress not only for individuals but for the whole of society”.

Earlier in January, an estimated 340,000 people took to the streets of Paris protest against the country’s upcoming bill which would allow equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. 

In November, thousands of pro-equality demonstrators turned up to rally at the National Assembly in Paris, to show support for equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

Polls show a majority of French voters support marriage equality, but it has divided the country’s left and right, with lawmakers from the conservative UMP denouncing the measure.

The reform, opposed by more than 1,000 mayors and France’s Catholic Church, will be debated by parliament later this month.

President Hollande is set to meet with opponents of the upcoming law on Friday.

Not the first time fashion has been used to support equal marriage, the French edition of Elle Magazine last week came out in support of equal marriage in France by featuring a lesbian bridal couple on the cover of its ‘marriage for all’ issue.