Published: 04 Dec 2012 13:43 GMT+01:00 | Print version
Updated: 04 Dec 2012 13:43 GMT+01:00
Valérie Trierweiler, the girlfriend of French President François Hollande, has given plans to legalise gay marriage her personal seal of approval by announcing she will be a witness at one of the first ceremonies.
While her partner's commitment to proposed legislation allowing same-sex marriages has been questioned in recent weeks, Trierweiler revealed she had accepted an invitation to participate in the wedding of gay friends.
"I'm delighted that I'm going to be a witness at one of the very first marriages for all," Trierweiler said.
A law providing for same sex couples to wed and adopt children is expected to be on the statute book by the middle of next year.
Its passage through parliament is likely to be stormy however given strong opposition from sections of the opposition right, Catholic bishops and other religious leaders.
Hollande attempted to take some heat out of the debate last month by announcing that mayors would not be obliged to preside individually over gay marriages if they did not agree with them on principle.
That prompted allegations of "treachery" from France's main gay lobby, which accused the president of legitimizing homophobia.
Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets of Paris last month in opposition to the government's plans but opinion polls suggest most voters support the planned reform.
Representatives of the main parties in parliament agreed Tuesday that the main debate on the draft legislation will take place in the first week of February.
Hundreds of French Facebook users bared all this week in a protest against the social media site’s strict censorship of nude photos. But the “Day of Nude” protest was cut short early when Facebook's photo police took swift action. READ () »
The French government may still be celebrating the victory of seeing its divisive gay marriage bill finally signed into law but the battle over the issue of same-sex unions in France now looks set to move from a national to a local level. READ () »
An angry Chinese film producer had some harsh words to say about France this week, suggesting the country had a problem with public safety and arrogance after being the victim of a burglary at the Cannes Film Festival. READ () »
A proposal to introduce more courses in English and other foreign languages at French universities is set to be debated in parliament from Wednesday amid concerns it will undermine the country's soul and identity. READ () »
A 48-year-old divorced Briton locked in a bitter custody battle confessed on Sunday that he had killed his two young children by slitting their throats near the eastern French city of Lyon. READ () »
As Carlo Ancelotti paid fulsome tribute to the retiring David Beckham the Paris Saint Germain manager revealed an announcement on his own future may be imminent. READ () »
France's disgraced former budget minister, forced out of office over a tax fraud scandal, will not seek re-election to his former parliamentary seat, a newspaper reported Sunday. READ () »
Spain's world championship leader Marc Marquez will start on pole in Sunday's French MotoGP on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans after coming out on top in Saturday's qualifying. READ () »
A man was arrested on Friday after causing a scare at the Cannes Film Festival, where he attacked a TV studio with a gun loaded with blanks and a dummy grenade, police and witnesses said. READ () »
French actor and newly-minted Russian citizen Gerard Depardieu on Saturday compared President Vladimir Putin to the late Pope John Paul II and said the ex-KGB agent is what Russia needs as a leader. READ () »