FRANCE: Socialist Party Offers Compromise On Gay Marriage Bill
Just days ahead of a joint Catholic-Muslim protest that is forecast to draw as many as 200,000 participants, France's Socialist Party today compromised on its same-sex marriage bill by dropping the provision for the government to provide procreation services to gay couples.
The compromise, according the Radio France, is designed to soften opposition to the marriage equality bill due for debate at the National Assembly at the end of this month. The ruling Socialist party announced today (9 January) that it would not to table an amendment that would have enabled lesbian couples to have children by medically assisted means after being promised that it will be included in a future family law. Hollande, however, said he will not back down from his election pledge to legalize same-sex marriage, but expressed his eagerness to avoid an open conflict with France’s religious leaders. The opposition center-right UMP party expressed its opposition to the bill and support of the religious leaders’ stance. An opinion poll published yesterday that two thirds of the French public (60 percent) support gay marriage, although most considered it ‘secondary’ issue, with 46 per cent in favor of medically assisted procreation.According to the above-linked story, French LGBT groups have expressed disappointment in the compromise.