News Column

France Approves Gay Marriage

April 23, 2013

The French parliament on Tuesday gave its final approval to legislation legalizing gay marriage and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

The bill had already been approved by the Senate on April 12, and Tuesday's final reading in the National Assembly was seen as little more than a procedural hurdle, as the Socialist party which supported the measure enjoys a majority there.

The law is to come into force in June.

Immediately after the vote, the conservative opposition announced a constitutional challenge to the new law.

In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated against the bill, criticizing the right of adoption in particular fearing "a destabilization of family structures" and negative repercussions to children brought up by two mothers or two fathers.

More demonstrations are planned in May.

Marriage and adoption by same-sex couples are part of an election promise by President Francois Hollande. Only a bare majority of predominantly Catholic France, however, support same-sex marriage and a majority reject adoption by such couples.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira justified the law, saying: "It is the duty of the state to fight against discrimination."

Members of the conservative UMP have already promised to overturn the new law should they come to power.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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