France legalizes gay marriage despite angry protests
“I hope people across the country will celebrate this moment,” Martin Gaillard, a 31-year-old advocate of gay marriage, told English-language news site France24.com.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion,” Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said in the National Assembly after the vote. “This is a very beautiful reform with a place in French history. It’s the responsibility of the government to stop discrimination.
Opponents of the law have held increasingly angry protests in recent weeks, including a string of confrontations with police in Paris.
They fought hard to scuttle the parliamentary bill because it also allows the use of surrogate motherhood by gay couples wanting children.
The debate is also blamed for fanning a spate of homophobic attacks, including the beating up of a 24-year-old in the southern city of Nice on Saturday, Reuters reported
Thousands of demonstrators have marched on the French capital’s boulevards the past several weeks, calling on Hollande to drop the bill. While public opinion favors gay marriage, the French by a small majority oppose same-sex adoption, polls show.
Daniel Fasquelle, a member of parliament from the opposition Union for a Popular Movement, said critics would seek to have same-sex adoption repealed by the constitutional court. While France already has civil unions for gay couples, such unions don’t give the right to adoption.
“It’s a misguided and unbalanced law that undermines the rights of children,” Fasquelle said in a televised interview on La Chaine Parlementaire.
GAY MARRIAGE – Historical Wedding in the National Assembly. Unsurprisingly, MEPs adopted permanently and overwhelmingly bill opening marriage and adoption to homosexuals . Unless an unlikely shot political theater or a possible censure by the Constitutional Council, France becomes the ninth European nation and fourteenth world to legalize unions of same sex couples level.
“After 136 hours and 45 minutes of debate, the National Assembly passed the bill” on marriage for all, said the President of the Lower House, Claude Bartolone, to the applause of the left wing of the Chamber who chanted “Equality, equality” while part of the opposition left the Assembly.