• France's news in English
 
Gay marriage keeps French MPs up all night
Members of the public watch on from the gallery as deputies go through the 5362 suggested amendments. Photo: Jacques Demarthon/AFP

Gay marriage keeps French MPs up all night

Published: 04 Feb 2013 09:35 GMT+01:00

The Socialist government’s proposed law to legalise gay-marrriage and open up adoption to same-sex couples entered parliament last Tuesday, but with 5362 suggested amendments to discuss it was always in risk of getting a little bogged down.

This weekend deputies debated for a total of 30 hours, finally heading home to bed on Monday as most Parisians were going off to work.

The bad news for the deputies is that although they have made progress, there are still another 3712 amendments to get through.

Opposition UMP deputies had tried to bring the discussions to a close at the more reasonable hour of 1.30am on Sunday but were voted down. According to France's TF1 website UMP deputy Christian Jacob did manage to persuade fellow lawmakers to take a break at 7am, so he "could nip out and get a pain-au-chocolate".

Despite the lengthy deliberations there was a key moment on Saturday when deputies voted 249-97 in favour of article one of the draft legislation which redefines marriage as being an agreement between two people rather than necessarily between a man and a woman.

"We are happy and proud to have taken this first step," Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said. "We are going to establish the freedom for everyone to choose his or her partner for a future together."

The long hours appear to be getting to some of the deputies with tempers flaring at regular intervals throughout the debate. Socialist deputy Yann Galut and UMP rival Philippe Gosselin reportedly almost came to blows at one point at the weekend. A photo was published in the press of the pair remonstrating with each other at close quarters.

Despite the government having a healthy majority and a determination to push the bill thorough anti-gay marriage protesters continued to make their voices heard at the weekend.

According to police around 80,000 took part in demonstrations across the country at the weekend.

Opinion polls suggest a clear majority of French voters support the right of gay couples to wed and a narrower majority favour them being granted the right to adopt as couples (gay men and women can already adopt as individuals if approved by social services).

The Local/AFP (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

2013-02-04 11:15:24 by betty80
In Paris Marc Jacobs fashion designer tortures a young girl. He stalks her, hackes her phone, steals her fashion designs. He fooled her with love. Her name is Angel Barta. Please read the details and share the link! Help her! " styleangelique. blogspot "
Today's headlines
French police kill knife-wielding man
Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP

French police kill knife-wielding man

French police on Saturday shot dead a man who attacked them with a knife in a police station while shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic), a source said. READ  

French bus driver faked assault in paid leave ploy
The town hall in Goussainville. Photo: P.Poschadel/Wikimedia

French bus driver faked assault in paid leave ploy

A 23-year-old bus driver in suburban Paris was handed a six month suspended prison sentence Friday for staging his own assault in a ploy to obtain paid sick leave. READ  

French fishmonger nabbed in naked display
A French fishmonger (unrelated to the story). File photo: Pascal Pochard Casabianca/AFP

French fishmonger nabbed in naked display

A French fishmonger in women's lingerie was left with a lot of explaining to do after being arrested for exposing himself to holiday shoppers through his store window. READ  

EasyJet strike grounds France Xmas flights
Photo: Pascal Pavani/AFP

EasyJet strike grounds France Xmas flights

EasyJet flight attendants, angry over scheduling and pay, announced Friday a strike expected to force the low-cost carrier to cancel about half its flights in France the day after Christmas. READ  

French ex-airline boss: ‘Missing MH370 covered up’
Photo: Shutterstock

French ex-airline boss: ‘Missing MH370 covered up’

A former airline boss is making waves in France after he claimed that the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March had been covered up, and that the aircraft was likely hijacked by a hacker and possibly shot down by the US. READ  

French mayor wins battle to keep nativity scene
The mayor of Beziers, supported by the French far-right National Front party (FN), Robert Menard, looks at a nativity scene displayed at the Beziers city hall. Photo: Pascal Guyot

French mayor wins battle to keep nativity scene

As the annual Christmas battle over nativity scenes rages in France, it was a victory for the traditionalists in southern Montpellier on Friday as a court refused to order the removal of a town hall creche. READ  

Santa bikers ride through Paris for orphans
Some 3,000 bikers rode through Paris to support orphaned children of firefighters. Photo of Santa biker: Shutterstock

Santa bikers ride through Paris for orphans

There was a whole lot of revving and red hats going on in central Paris on Thursday evening when some 3,000 bikers dressed up as Santa - or his little helpers – rode through the City of Lights for the 12th year in a row in support of the orphaned children of firefighters. READ  

China's Fosun ups bid for France's Club Med
The drawn-out take-over battle for the iconic holiday brand is already the longest recorded on the Paris stock market. Photo: Viaggio Routard/Flickr

China's Fosun ups bid for France's Club Med

Chinese conglomerate Fosun on Friday sweetened its offer for French holiday group Club Med, raising it by nearly €100 million, in a move to try to trump an Italian rival in what has been described as the longest bidding war in Parisian stock market history. READ  

The Local List
Top Ten: French Christmas traditions
In France people shop in traditional Christmas markets as much as in the deluxe stores. Photo: Dalbera/Flickr

Top Ten: French Christmas traditions

Every country does Christmas slightly differently, and the French - who, to their credit, rarely do things like the rest of the world - naturally have their own Christmas traditions, that they have just about held on to over the years. READ  

The top ten tackiest 'Made in France' gifts
You'll find plenty of tacky gifts in French souvenir shops. Photo: Eole Wind/Flickr

The top ten tackiest 'Made in France' gifts

Christmas shopping can be challenging when it comes to finding authentic ‘Made in France’ gifts and there is often a very thin line between tasteful and tacky. The Local has put together a (highly subjective) list of presents we think you shouldn't bring home. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Santa bikers ride through Paris for orphans
Culture
Top 10 tackiest 'Made in France' gifts
Gallery
10 traditions that make a French Christmas
Culture
GALLERY: The French language's fixation with 'les Anglais'
Society
So what does the web tell us about the French in the year 2014
Society
Have the French fallen out of love with Christmas?
National
Immigration in France: Hollande hits back at the scaremongers
Culture
What's on: 10 things to do in France before Christmas
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Muslims rule France in 2022: The bad boy of French literature is back
Gallery
There are so many things that claim to be French but aren't. Here are 12.
National
Crazy cat stories: Moggie returns after 1,200km trek across France
National
Tea sets for boys? French feminists protest 'gendered' Christmas presents
National
Jacques Chirac's 'head' - The perfect place to hide 1.5 kilos of weed
Gallery
Myths debunked: 11 things you (wrongly) presumed about France
National
Prices are tumbling but the property ladder is increasingly out of reach for the French
Education
IN IMAGES: French universities 'in ruin'. The students have the evidence
National
Life's about to get a lot cheaper for Paris commuters. Or is it?
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for partying with the French this Christmas
National
Some famous French fine wines are under threat from high speed trains
National
VIDEO: Homeless bodybuilder turns the streets of Paris into his gym
Business & Money
Noble Prize for Economics: Six things to know about Jean Tirole
Culture
Nobel Literature Prize: Ten things to know about Patrick Modiano
Gallery
Looking for a good Christmas market in France? Here's our top 10
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The top 15 new inventions to come out of France
Sponsored Article
Top ten gifts for an expat Christmas
Gallery
Miss France Farmer: The contest to find a 'real French beauty'
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Lyon's spectacular festival of lights dazzles once again
Gallery
IN IMAGES: Ten French Bond girls through the ages
National
Outrage forces French city to scrap yellow triangle ID cards for homeless
Gallery
Who does Christmas better - The French or Anglos? We decide.
National
All you need to know about the new French Bond girl Léa Seydoux
International
'My iPod's broken' - French jihadists moan about lack of home comforts
National
Race you to the top of the Eiffel Tower. No seriously, I'll race you.
National
And what if Mona Lisa was really a slave from China?
Opinion
Why company bosses in France have just about had enough
National
What impact did a 'giant butt plug' in Paris have on sales of sex toys?
Travel
National Geographic's top world destination for 2015 is in France.
Society
French babies switched at birth: Families seek €12 million damages
National
Why are so many French police officers taking their own lives?
Society
Immigration in France: Ten numbers that matter
Sponsored Article
Win a €250 voucher for your Christmas list
National
Sarko is back in the ring: Did he ever really leave it?
National
IN IMAGES: Yet more fatal floods hit the south of France
Gallery
Forget tourism and wine, here are 10 OTHER ways France leads the world
Sponsored Article
Live like a local - anywhere in the world
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se