French politicians approve gay marriage law

The French National Assembly has approved a law legalising gay marriage by a majority of precisely 100.

The ‘Marriage for All’ bill will now proceed to the country’s upper house, the Senate, for final approval. Commentators expect the Senate to back the bill, which could become law as soon as this summer.

The bill proved controversial, the BBC reports, with backing from President Francois Hollande and the ruling Parti socialiste countered by opposition from the centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire. A national debate about the issues raised by the bill provoked street protests and intense discussion, with a provision within the legislation allowing gay couples to adopt children proving especially controversial. Around 60 per cent of the French public is in favour of gay marriage, polls suggest, but only 50 per cent back gay adoption.

The Marriage For All bill was also opposed by the Catholic Church and some Muslims.

Left-wing MPs applauded in the Assembly when the results of the vote were announced.

Photo of the French National Assembly by Richard Ying et Tangui Morlier via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence 

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