Cardiles remembers partner Jugelé. Photo by AFP/Getty Images
In a luminous, heartrending eulogy, the husband of police officer and LGBTQ advocate Xavier Jugelé, 37, killed in last week's isolated ISIS-related terror attack in Paris, stressed that he suffers from his loss but will not hate because of it: "I have no hatred, Xavier, because it is not like you and does not fit with what made your heart beat.” His voice occasionally breaking, Etienne Cardiles spoke Tuesday in a largely silent courtyard at Paris police headquarters, a few feet away from Jugelé's flag-draped casket; attending the ceremony were President François Hollande, Mayor Anne Hidalgo, presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and rightist Marine Le Pen, and hundreds of officers.
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The openly gay Jugelé was an LGBTQ-rights activist and member of the French LGBTQ police association FLAG; he joined protests against Russia's Olympics-era ban on "homosexual propaganda," and he was one of the first responders at the 2015 Bataclan terror attack. Addressing his partner, Cardiles cited Jugelé's belief in his work with its "guarantee of the rights (of) all," his "life of joy and immense smiles in which love and tolerance reigned as undisputed masters," his love of cinema, music and "theater (that) transported you, and you lived it fully." Above all, Cardiles vowed to follow the model of the widow of a Bataclan victim who proclaimed after the attack, "You will not have my hatred." He ended by urging those struggling against hate to not give up with the moving benediction, "May peace prevail." As a fractious world unravels, Cardiles' grace and strength give us, against all odds, a sliver of hope.