Provence & Côte d'Azur: "In one year, same-sex couples will be able to marry and adopt," says Family Minister
France could say "I do" to gay marriage by 2013
Dominique Bertinotti, the new Minister for Families, told national newspaper Le Parisien on Friday 29th June that the issue of gay marriage and adoption will be a priority for President François Hollande in 2013. "In one year, same-sex couples will be able to marry and adopt. They will have the same rights and the same responsibilities as any other married couple," she declared.
The objective was confirmed through a statement released by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's office on the same day, announcing that the new socialist government would be legalising same-sex marriage and adoption during Hollande's five year mandate, but it did not specify a date.
The promise sparked a major sense of optimism at Saturday's annual gay pride march in Paris. "This is a special parade because it is the first time we have a government, a president, a parliament who are in favour of progress," Nicolas Gougain, spokesman for the the gay rights group Inter-LGBT, told Le Figaro.
The law would bring France up to speed on gay rights with other EU members Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.
During his election campaign this year, Hollande pledged to legalise gay marriage but gave no time frame.
Currently, France only has PACS, a civil solidarity pact for homosexual couples which confers some of the same rights as marriage but also offers fewer protections. Only married couples can adopt.
So how will the Catholic community of France welcome the move? A recent survey by BVA, a French company specialised in opinion polls, indicated in January 2012 that 63 per cent of French people support gay marriage. The survey was carried out on a cross section of 971 French people, aged over 18.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy strongly opposed gay marriage, however there would be little the right wing UMP party could do to stop it if the measure came into force.