FRANCE: Marriage Bill Advances
The same day that Americans witnessed huge advances in marriage equality, France's cabinet approved a draft version of its marriage bill.
The draft law redefines marriage to stipulate that it is “contracted between two persons of different sex or of the same sex,” and the words “father” and “mother” in existing legislation are replaced by “parents.” The bill would also allow married gay couples to adopt children. Christiane Taubira, the justice minister, told the conservative newspaper La Croix that “marriage for all,” as the government calls it, was a response to “a demand for equality.”Leading the opposition, of course, is the Catholic Church.
But the move to legalize same-sex marriage has been controversial, and the bill was subject to delays in a country where only married couples can adopt. Opinion polls indicate that a majority of the French support gay marriage, but only half approve of allowing gays to adopt. On Wednesday, Serge Dassault, an influential senator from the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, the party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy, said the bill represented “the end of the family, the end of children’s development, the end of education.” He called it “an enormous danger to the nation.”