• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hollande set to sign gay marriage into French law

The Local/AFP · 17 May 2013, 17:12

Published: 17 May 2013 17:12 GMT+02:00

The final hurdle preventing the gay marriage bill from becoming law was overcome on Friday when the legislation was passed by France's Constitutional Council, after it turned
down a challenge by the opposition.

The issue of gay marriage and adoption for same sex couples has divided France with mas street protests being held by opponents of the bill, some of which have ended in violence.

France made history on April 23 when it became the 14th country to vote gay marriage into law but opposition UMP deputies referred the bill to the Council, which has the right to throw it out if it is against the country's constitution.

However "Les Sages" as the council members are known has suggested they would not intervene with the wishes of parliament and on Friday they stuck to their word.

A statement by the Council said same-sex marriage "did not run contrary to any constitutional principles," and that it did not infringe "basic rights or liberties or national sovereignty."

The council also said that gay adoption did not automatically mean the "right to a child" and that the "interest of the child" would be the overriding factor in such cases.

All that remains now is for Francois Hollande to sign the bill into law. Immediately after the council's decision the president, eager to put the bill to bed, announced he would sign the bill into law as soon as Saturday.

The first gay wedding can be held 10 days after Hollande signs it into law, although some mayors across the country have refused to administer the ceremonies.

On Saturday, France will become the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage, joining a club of eight other European nations -- the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland and Denmark.

Friday's decision by the council will delight supporters of the bill but will further anger protestors, who have stage mass street rallies in recent months to demonstrate their opposition to the proposal.

Despite parliament having passed the bill another protest is planned for May 26th.

A Parisian socialite who goes by the name of Frigide Barjot and has become the public face of the movement opposing gay marriage said the council's go-ahead was a "provocation," adding that France was trying to change "civilisation."

Story continues below…

Barjot whose assumed name is a play on the name of French film star Brigitte Bardot, a sex symbol in the 1960s, and translates as Frigid Loony told AFP: "It's an institutional revolution," adding: "We are in the process of changing civilisation."

When parliament passed the bill in April Justice Minister Christiane Taubira hailed the adoption of the bill as a "historic" moment in French history.

"It grants new rights, stands firmly against discrimination (and) testifies to our country's respect for the institution of marriage," she said in a statement shortly after the vote.

"This law... brightens the horizons of many of our citizens who were deprived of these rights," she said.

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

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'There will be petrol': France says shortages will ease off
Photo: AFP

Even though this week is set to be hit by further transport strikes the French government has defiantly declared “there will be petrol” as the fuel crisis eases.

France braced for another week of transport strikes
Writing on a road reads "blockage, sabotage" as workers on strike block the access to an oil depot near the Total refinery of Donges, western France. Photo: AFP

France is bracing for a week of severe disruption to transport after unions called for more action in their bitter standoff with the Socialist government over its labour market reforms.

American charged over police car attack in Paris protests
The police care was set ablaze with two officers inside. Photo: AFP

An American man has been charged for his alleged role in torching a police car during anti-cop protests in Paris against France's labour reforms bill.

'At least 12 days to recover Egyptair black boxes'
Egyptians look at posters of the 66 victims of the EgyptAir MS804 flight that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: AFP

Investigators into EgyptAir's plane crash need at least 12 days to recover its black boxes as they await a ship that can retrieve them from the bottom of the Mediterranean, investigation sources said Sunday.

Euro 2016
Cantona laments omission of north African-origin players
Cantona won 45 caps for France between 1987 and 1995. Photo: AFP

The omission of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa from the France squad for next month's European Championships is a missed opportunity to unite the country in the face of extremism and division, according to ex-international Eric Cantona.

UK rescues 20 migrants from boat in Channel
A boat used in a previous attempt by Iranian refugees to reach the UK. Photo: AFP

The British coastguard said it rescued 20 migrants on Sunday from the Channel after their inflatable boat began to take on water.

Ten children struck by lightning in Paris park
Photo: AFP

Eleven people including ten children have been injured by lightning during a thunderstorm at Parc Monceau in Paris on Saturday.

What to expect when working in a bar in Paris
Photo: Fabrizio Morrola/Flickr

Fancy the idea of a bar job in Paris? There are a few things you need to know first, writes bartender Lauren Belcher.

Five key tips to opening a bank account in France
Photo: Dave Dugdale/Flickr

Avoid the headaches. Read this before opening a bank account in France.

Afghan migrant killed by lorry in Calais
French riot police guard a truck after migrants tried to mount several trucks near the Eurotunnel, near Calais earlier this year. Photo: AFP

A 25-year-old Afghan migrant was killed by a lorry on a motorway near the French port city of Calais in the early hours of Saturday, according to officials.

National
Which of France's strikes could affect Euro 2016?
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
'You're not welcome': French police chief warns English yobs
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
It's Neighbours' Day! But what does it all mean?
National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
National
The trials and tribulations of moving to rural France
National
Five free smartphone apps to help you find petrol in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
2,737
jobs available