Earlier this month the French parliament approved gay marriage, but yesterday the entire law (not just individual components of it) was formally approved.
After the initial approval, they still had to debate other parts of the broader law and that has now been settled. The bill will now move to the Senate for confirmation, where it is expected to pass and become law.
The religious right in France, led by the Catholic Church, lost badly — as their vocal opposition did not sway the vote at all.
The Assembly has been debating the bill, and voting on its individual articles in recent weeks. The overall legislation now goes in the coming weeks to the Senate, which also is controlled by the governing Socialists and their allies.
With Tuesday’s vote, France joins Britain in taking a major legislative step in recent weeks toward allowing gay marriage and adoption — making them the largest European countries to do so. The Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Spain, as well as Argentina, Canada and South Africa have authorized gay marriage, along with nine U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The issue has exposed fault lines between a progressive-minded leftist legislative majority in officially secular France, and the country’s conservative religious roots. Critics — including many Roman Catholics — have railed that the bill would erode the traditional family. Socialists, however, sought to depict the issue as one of equal rights, and they played off France’s famed Revolution-era motto of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.”
The religious right is now holding out hope that this will be struck down by the constitutional courts. French president Hollande has recently lost one battle (over taxes) there so it’s not clear how this will be viewed there.