French Senate adopts key article of gay marriage bill

15/04/2013
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from France24: http://www.france24.com/en/20130410-france-senate-approves-key-article-same-sex-marriage-bill

France’s Senate passed a key article of a controversial bill to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption on Tuesday night, redefining marriage as a union between “two individuals of different sex or of the same sex”.

Debating late into the night on Tuesday, France’s Senate voted to approve a key article of a controversial bill to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption, which redefines marriage as a union between “two individuals of different sex or of the same sex”. The measure passed with a decisive majority of 179 votes to 157.

The vote was conducted after a series of proposed amendments to the statute were rejected by lawmakers, including one creating a civil union that would grant same-sex couples greater rights as an alternative to marriage. While members of France’s conservative UMP and the centrist UDI parties largely voted against the article, it passed with a clear majority in the left-wing dominated Senate.

Although the bill is still far from being ratified as a whole, Tuesday’s vote comes as a major victory for advocates of same-sex marriage in France. While many view the legalisation of same-sex marriage and adoption as a foregone conclusion, the parliamentary debate on the measure has highlighted deep-seeded divisions over the issue in French society, sparking mass public demonstrations both for and against it.

Despite approving a key article of the bill, the Senate must now complete reviewing the legislation, which could take weeks. Once voted, the text is expected to go back to the National Assembly in late May, which already approved the measure a little more than a month ago. There it will be put up to a final vote, and if adopted, the bill will then be made into law.


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