Yesterday morning was a historic moment in France, as parliament voted by a large margin to legalize gay marriage. The haters, led by the Catholic Church, are still upset and have been protesting. They may not have noticed that the sun still arrived today, just as it has done elsewhere following the approval of marriage equality.
A majority of French voters support gay marriage (63%), and approval for adoption by gay parents is nearly 50%. Despite an image abroad that France is a lefty paradise of some sort, I’m actually surprised that the support levels are so high. France is a very conservative country that often dislikes change, even if, like much of Europe, it’s not very religious.
Church attendance levels are very low, but those who go are vocal. The protests against equality were primarily funded by the Catholic Church and the center-right political groups who were eager to use the issue to divide people. (Think of the GOP in 2004.) Thankfully, the extremist bigots are about to go lose badly.
Despite the often stubborn refusal to change anything, French president Hollande has managed to follow through on one of his campaign promises. The debate will continue a bit longer but it looks like marriage equality will become a reality in France in the next few weeks.
President Francois Hollande’s Socialists and their left-wing supporters backed it, opposed by many opposition UMP and centrist MPs.
The proposals have generated protests and counter-protests for months.
Opinion polls suggest that around 55-60% of French people support gay marriage, though only about 50% approve of gay adoption.
Correspondents say the ease with which the article passed suggests the bill as a whole will pass.
Debates are expected to go on for more than a week, as MPs discuss hundreds of amendments, most of them filed by the centre-right opposition.