• France's news in English

French parliament backs gay marriage clause

AFP · 2 Feb 2013, 13:10

Published: 02 Feb 2013 13:10 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Although the proposed law still faces at least another week of parliamentary scrutiny before a final vote scheduled for February 12, the ease with which it cleared the first hurdle indicated it is almost certain to emerge unscathed from the debate.

The article approved on Saturday was supported by deputies of the ruling Socialist Party, who enjoy an overall majority in the Assembly, other leftists and Greens as well as at least one member of the UMP, the main centre-right opposition force.

"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."

UMP deputy Philippe Gosselin said the government was forcing through legislation that France did not want.

"Today it is marriage and adoption. Tomorrow it will be medically assisted conception and surrogate mothers," he said in comments that reflected the strength of feeling among opponents of the government's plans.

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).

Massive demonstrations across the country have underlined that those who oppose gay marriage feel very strongly about the issue and President Francois Hollande has been accused of pushing the legislation through without proper consultation.

Story continues below…

The Catholic church has been heavily involved in mobilising opposition and protests were scheduled to take place again Saturday in towns and cities
across France.

A national rally in Paris last month attracted hundreds of thousands of demonstrators and was at least twice as big as a protest staged by supporters of the reform.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President François Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available