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France confirms gay marriage will be legal by 2013

France confirms gay marriage will be legal by 2013

French lawmakers have confirmed they will introduce legislation to allow same-sex marriage in October.

Fulfilling a campaign promise of President FranÒ«ois Hollande, the package reforms will also allow adoption by gay couples.

It is unknown whether other promised reforms, such as transgender people being allowed to legally define their gender before surgery, granting lesbians fertility treatment, and lifting the lifetime ban on gay and bisexual men giving blood, will also be included in the bill.

In an address to Socialist Party members, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said: ‘In October, we will send a bill to the National Assembly and the Senate to allow same-sex couples to marry.

‘It would also allow them to form families and adopt children.’

Once introduced, the bill will be debated in France’s two houses of Parliament, which are both controlled by Hollande’s Socialist Party.

The first same-sex marriages are likely to happen in spring 2013.

As Gay Star News reported earlier this year, legalizing same-sex marriage was one pledge Hollande made during his campaign for president.

On his campaign website, it said: ‘Freedom is the ability to let two people in love, regardless of their sexual orientation to unite.

‘Equality is to allow any couple to use the same device without legal discrimination.’

Despite France priding itself on its separation between church and state, Catholic bishops were outraged by the proposed LGBT reforms.

Dredging up a tradition not used since World War 2, the Catholic Church conducted an anti-gay prayer day to urge officials to put their ‘sense of common good over the pressure to meet special demands.’

Nicolas Gougain, from gay rights group Inter-LGBT, said: ‘François Hollande is committed to these reforms and they have been reaffirmed by his government.

‘We can count on getting a majority in parliament and no prayer will be able to block this necessary legislation. Religion has no place in politics.’

The prayer coincided with a poll which revealed 65% of French people back gay marriage, and 53% agree with same-sex adoption.