French President keeps his promise to fight for gay civil rights


BTW – President Hollande and Valerie Trierweile aren’t married – they’re partners

French ministers grappled Wednesday with the issue of same-sex marriage and adoption rights as the Cabinet approved a draft bill in the face of fierce resistance from the Roman Catholic Church and social conservatives.

Extending the right to marry and adopt to same-sex couples was one of President Francois Hollande’s electoral pledges in campaigning this year.

The bill is expected to go before the National Assembly and Senate in January, and is likely to be voted on in February or March. If passed, it would mark the biggest step forward for French gay rights advocates in more than a decade…

An opinion poll released Wednesday by polling group Ifop and Le Monde newspaper found 65% of those surveyed support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples — a clear majority of the population…

Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, voiced his opposition to the proposed legislation at a meeting of French bishops in Lourdes over the weekend…

Golly gee! There’s a surprise.

Other religious groups in France, including Muslims, Jews and Buddhists, have also expressed their concern over the draft bill, and more than 100 lawmakers are against the legislation…

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said the proposed changes are a matter of justice and equality that reflect the evolving nature of society…

A law legalizing civil unions was introduced in 1999 in France under a previous Socialist government.

Known in France as the PACS (pacte civil de solidarite), the civil union agreement can be entered into by gay or straight couples and confers many but not all of the rights of marriage.

Something the religious conservatives hate to admit is that civil unions are already more popular than marriage. Among other reasons, there is no need for religion to validate anything.