• France edition
 
French parliament passes gay marriage bill
France's National Assembly passes a gay marriage bill by 329 votes to 229. Photo: Screengrab/LCP

French parliament passes gay marriage bill

Published: 12 Feb 2013 18:33 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Feb 2013 18:33 GMT+01:00

France’s National Assembly made history on Tuesday when it adopted the government’s landmark bill to legalize gay marriage and open up adoption to same-sex couples on Tuesday. The legislation will now go before the Senate in early spring.

After ten days of occasionally fraught debate, and some very late nights, deputies in France’s lower house on Tuesday evening adopted the bill by 329 votes to 229, comfortably surpassing the 280 required majority.

The vote means that France is now on its way to becoming the world’s 12th country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Reaction has been swift on both sides of the debate. Nicolas Gougain of the Inter-LGBT lobby group hailed the importance of today's vote: "This is a hugely important vote that will help push forward gay rights in France," Gougain told The Local. 

"In the past this was not possible because the wish of those in power did not match that of society as a whole, but today that is the case. We salute and recognise the work of the politicians in pushing this law through parliament."

The response among the general public has been mixed, but largely celebratory, as one Twitter user reflected.

We are so #happy! France votes finally FOR gay mariage! My friend is crying next to me. :) #same #love

— Louise Coomans (@LouiseCoomans) February 12, 2013

One gay opponent of the bill was philosophical in response to the historic vote.  Emmanuel Ducamp from the organization Homovox told The Local they would have to respect parliament's decision.

"We need to respect the decision of the people, made through the National Assembly. It does not mean we agree with the text of the bill. Now there is not much we can say. We will have to wait until it goes to the Senate and then the Constitutional Council to see if it becomes law. We have to admit that it has been passed by parliament," Ducamp said.

Indeed, the bill’s prospects in the French upper house are far from a foregone conclusions, as right-leaning French daily Le Figaro pointed out on Tuesday evening.

The Socialists have a majority of just six in the Senate, and will need the help of the Communists, greens and the radical left – some of whom may not be effusive in their support – to make the bill into law.

Those discussions are set to begin on March 18th.

'I'm proud to be alive at this moment.'

The National Assembly chamber, known as the ‘hemicycle’ because of its horseshoe design, witnessed a few emotional moments during speeches on Tuesday evening.

Centre-right UMP deputy Hervé Mariton was jeered as he began his remarks. "We love the words mother and father. You have tortured the French language", said Mariton.

“You are individualists and materialists. We are united and free,” he told the Socialist MPs.

Democratic and Republican Left MP Marie-George Buffet said: "This law allows France to start a new chapter. I'm proud to be alive at this moment."

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who has emerged as one of the stars of the two week debate, received a standing ovation at the commencement of her speech, and caused laughter on both sides of the chamber when she thanked all members “for your days, and for your nights” – a reference to some notably long sessions recently, where deputies pored over more than 5,000 amendments to the bill.

Before Tuesday evening’s long-awaited session, Socialist MP Sébastien Pietrasanta summed up the feelings of many gay marriage advocates with this tweet. "In a few minutes, I’m going to vote for marriage for all. One of the best votes I will have cast in favour of equality.”

In the end, though, the electronic voting in the chamber was over in a flash, and the announcement, by Socialist National Assembly Claude Bartolone, that the bill had surpassed the 280 votes required to be adopted, was greeted with rapturous applause.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Syrian refugees set up home in Paris park
Syrian refugees children and women sit on April 21, 2014 in the Edouard Vaillant parc in Saint-Ouen, north of Paris. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Syrian refugees set up home in Paris park

Around 150 Syria refugees are living a desperate existence in a small park to the north of Paris. NGOs and France's Green party are urging authorities to do more to help the families while they wait for their asylum requests to be processed. READ () »

French foot licker jailed for attack on elderly lady
A French fetishist got 18 months behind bars for a foot licking attack on an elderly woman. Photo: Twon/Flickr

French foot licker jailed for attack on elderly lady

A French fetishist was so smitten with an elderly lady’s feet he burst into the terrified woman's home and lunged at her trotters, which he then proceeded to sniff, lick and rub. The lewd act cost him 18 months behind bars. READ () »

Wolves continue their advance on Paris
Wolves are getting closer to Paris, but they won't be biting Parisians anytime soon. Hopefully. Photo ErranAT/flickr

Wolves continue their advance on Paris

The contentious issue of wolves in France was once again in the spotlight this week after one of the predators was captured on camera for the first time within 250 km of Paris. An expert says they will come even closer but thankfully "they won't be biting Parisians". READ () »

France unveils raft of reforms to boost jobs
France says its economy will grow despite billions of euros in planned budget cuts. Photo: Euros.

France unveils raft of reforms to boost jobs

France laid out a new package of reforms on Wednesday to respect EU rules, cut spending, boost jobs and put its economy in shape to compete on world markets. READ () »

North Koreans snubbed by French cheese college
Kim Jong-un's bid to send two North Koreans to learn how to make French cheese has been refused by a prestigious French college. Photos: Zennie62/Amandabhslater/Flickr

North Koreans snubbed by French cheese college

A bid by North Korea to send experts to a prestigious French cheese-making training school, seemingly at the behest of its fromage-loving leader King Jong-un, has been rejected. It did not fit with the institution's "priorities or strategy", it seems. READ () »

Paris launches new battle against French jihadists
Will a new French plan to stop the flow of jihadists to Syria have the desired effect? Photo: AFP

Paris launches new battle against French jihadists

France’s so-called top cop unveiled a dozen proposals on Wednesday aimed at stemming the flow of its residents toward the jihadist cause in Syria. Though some experts see the plan as a cynical political move ahead of European elections. READ () »

Getting married in France
How to avoid any French wedding nightmares
How to avoid any French wedding nightmares. Photo: Shutterstock

How to avoid any French wedding nightmares

France is a popular choice for foreign couples tying the knot including a fair few celebrities – but beware the pitfalls. Here, The Local speaks to a France-based wedding planner and a bride-to-be about how to have a hassle-free French wedding. READ () »

France vows to punish death of Mali hostage
French citizen Gilberto Rodriguez Leal sitting between two armed guards in an undisclosed place. A jihadist group in Mali on April 22, 2014 announced the death of the French hostage. Photo: AFP

France vows to punish death of Mali hostage

French President François Hollande has vowed to find out the truth behind the death of a French hostage in Mali and promised "it will not go unpunished". It comes after a jihadist group announced on Wednesday the death of Frenchman Gilberto Rodrigues Leal. READ () »

British duke takes €20m hit on Paris markets
A man walks on August 4, 2013 in the Clignancourt flea market in Saint-Ouen, outside Paris, that has cost the UK's Duke of Westminster a cool €20 million. Photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

British duke takes €20m hit on Paris markets

Britain's Duke of Westminster has bailed out of an investment in two famous Paris antiques markets nursing a reported loss of over €20 million, it emerged on Tuesday. READ () »

French writer's inequality book tops Amazon list
Thomas Piketty, whose book tops Amazon's best sellers list and appears to be liked by the White House. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

French writer's inequality book tops Amazon list

A book by a French economist praised by some as being one of the most important works in recent times and derided by others as a neo-marxist 'bizarre ideological creed' has shot to the top of Amazon's best sellers list. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
How to avoid a French wedding nightmare
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why sacked French ministers deserve no pity
Gallery
How well do you know your French text message lingo?
National
Divorced from reality? French plan for puppy custody laws
Travel
'Burgundy is for wine not wind': Will wind farms ruin famous wine region?
National
Why does France have a record number of people behind bars?
Society
VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Education
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
Tech
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
Gallery
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
National
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
Advertisement:
International
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Features
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
National
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
Politics
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Culture
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Gallery
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
National
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
Society
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
National
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Society
Only in France? Gourmet pensioners party lands village in hot water
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
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 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