LAST week, gay French police officer Xavier Jugelé laid down his life when an Islamic extremist opened fire on Paris' Champs Elysees.
At a memorial ceremony, Jugele’s husband, Etienne Cardiles, paid loving tribute to his late partner.
"This pain makes me feel closer to your comrades who suffer in silence like you and me," Cardiles said, holding back tears. He described Jugele as a man who lived "a life of joy and huge smiles."
"I have no hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat," he added. "Nor what made you a guardian of the peace."
A spokesperson for the French association of LGBT police officers described Jugelé as "a simple man who loved his job, and he was really committed to the LGBT cause."
"He was aware of the risks of the job and the terrorist threat," said Mickaël Bucheron, "although we did not speak a lot about it."
Jugelé, 37, grew up in Romorantin-Lanthenay in central France and was in a civil union with Cardiles.
He had been among the first responders when DAESH Islamic State terrorists attacked Paris' Bataclan theater in 2015, and was actually preparing to leave the Paris gendarmes to join the Judicial Police, which pursues suspects and serves search warrants, among other duties.
After his death, flags at police stations across France flew at half-mast, and President Francois Hollande made him a posthumous knight of the Legion d’Honneur.
The memorial event was attended by major French dignitaries including French President Hollande and candidates Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron. Le Pen is the leader of the far-right National Front party, and has promised to repeal France’s same-sex marriage law.