France to get same-sex marriage in ‘next few months’

President François Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault say a law may pass sooner than expected

France to get same-sex marriage in ‘next few months’
30 June 2012

France is expected to get same-sex marriage sooner than expected, according to a statement from Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s office.

With a large victory for President François Hollande’s Socialist party in parliament, the timing is largely up to the party and the president when the changes are legalised.

On his campaign trail, Hollande pledged he would legalize same-sex marriage and equal adoption rights for gay couples in France. When the election results were announced on 17 June, Hollande said the first same-sex marriage ceremonies will be held in spring 2013.

In a statement released yesterday (29 June), Ayrault said: ‘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.’

Earlier that day, the junior minister for families Dominique Bertinotti told French newspaper La Parisien a law on gay marriage and adoption would be passed at one point in 2012 but did not specify a date.

Currently gay couples in France, like heterosexuals, can have a PACS or civil solidariy pact, giving some but not all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. Many straight couples ‘upgrade’ this to marriage when they have children.

Now marriage will be open to all, and as all French ceremonies are conducted by civil officials there will be no religious issue about gays uniting in churches.

It would also mark a profound change in French society, where more than two thirds of people still describe themselves as Roman Catholic, according to a 2010 survey.

Other than gay marriage, upcoming legislation means transgender people will be able to legally define their gender prior to having surgery, lesbians will be able to have fertility treatment, and the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood will be lifted.

In Europe, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and The Netherlands all recognize same-sex marriage, with Britain likely to join the club in 2015.

Meanwhile three activists are on the sixth day of their hunger strike in a bid to force Hollande to bring a resolution to the UN, demanding the decriminalization of homosexuality worldwide. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Video of toddler singing 'Ain't No Homos Gonna Make It to Heaven' in Indiana church goes viral

Congregation of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle erupts in thunderous applause after the song;  Pastor now getting death threats
No thumbnail available

Nelson Mandela, race, gay and human rights hero, dies

Father of the Rainbow Nation, apartheid revolutionary and freedom fighter passes at the age of 95
No thumbnail available

Russia cuts sentence for man who tortured, drove gay teens to suicide

Maxim Martsinkevich, known as 'Machete', will now be out of jail in under three years
No thumbnail available

TV channel cuts word 'gay' from episode of The Simpsons

Britain's Channel 4 apologizes for censoring a Sunday lunchtime repeat of the popular US cartoon
No thumbnail available

US retailer Target joins fight against Wisconsin ban on same-sex marriage

The Target retail chain, one of the largest corporations in North America, has filed a ‘friend-of-the-court’ brief in a challenge against Wisconsin’s ban on same-sex couples marrying
No thumbnail available

Pope Francis to demote anti-gay US cardinal as head of Catholic Church's version of Supreme Court

Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke will instead be named to the Patron of the Knights of Malta
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

The rise in popularity of sperm donation from known donors

With the law in the UK now requiring sperm donors to disclose their identity to the authorities, more and more patients are choosing donation from someone they know and trust, says Venessa Smith, of the London Women’s Clinic’s Sperm Bank
No thumbnail available

Gay star Matt Bomer among those honored in People's 'Sexiest Man Alive' issue

Actor featured with Channing Tatum, Richard Gere, Ben Affleck and others
No thumbnail available

Prop 8 judge Vaughn Walker had once undergone ex-gay conversion therapy and was pronounced cured

New book reveals he did not have his first relationship with a man until his late 30s