French parliament gives way to gay marriage

12.02.2013 - 20:16

France's National Assembly adopted on 12 February the controversial bill, extending the right to marry and thus allowing homosexual couples to marry and adopt children.

The vote on adoption was successful after 329 deputies voted 'in favour' and 229 'against'.

Around two weeks ago, lawmakers voted with a large majority in favour of a key provision, redefining marriage as a contract between two people, not between a man and a woman as it used to be.

The issue turned to be decisive for thousands of French citizens who went out on the streets to protest against the law and its key article, strongly supported by the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, media in the country did not omit mentioning that extending the right to marry was one of the President Francois Hollande's electoral pledges in campaigning last year. In addition, the social reform was named 'the biggest' for France since the abolition of the death penalty in 1981.

However, after adoption by the lower house of the bicameral French parliament, the draft will go on 2 April to the Senate which must pass it before it officially becomes law.  Important to mention is also the fact that more protests and demonstrations against the bill are planned in the foreseeable future, the first one taking place on 24 March.

On 6 February, the British parliament accepted gay marriage after a divisive campaign and debate in the chamber. Other European countries which support same-sex marriages include also Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands.