Marriage Equality to Come to France
A major step forward towards equality in France was taken late last week, when the new Socialist government announced it will legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples.
President Francois Hollande, has pledged to legalize gay marriage and adoption during his election campaign, although offered no time frame. since Hollande's Socialists gained power with an absolute majority in parliamentary elections a little over two weeks ago, the changes to law have come at a more rapid pace than anyone had predicted. The former conservative UMP government under the former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, had opposed such measures.
Reflecting the new political atmosphere and a vast shift on public attitudes, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault released a statement on Friday, "The government has made it an objective for the next few months to work on implementing its campaign commitments on the fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity," read the statement. The statement from the Prime Minister's office had no time frame, however asserted a law would be implemented. The news was welcomed by those attending Pride in Paris, pictured above.
Earlier on Friday, the French Junior Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti confirmed to French daily newspaper, Le Parisien, that the new law on gay marriage and adoption would be passed within a year.
A law that would grant full marriage status to gay couples would bring France, which currently provides only for same-sex civil unions, into line with fellow European Union countries Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden. David Cameron the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister has also pledged his party’s support in favor of marriage equality in the UK. A vote to change the law to allow same sex civil marriage will take place later this year.Continued on the next page