Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gay marriage in France

Here's the story from the Guardian about what appears to be the end to a contentious transition in France from an illegal, repugnant transaction (actually, not just marriage, but also adoption, so two repugnant transactions) to transactions fully sanctioned by law, although still with substantial numbers of opponents:

France approves same-sex marriage: Passing of law allowing gay couples to marry and adopt children comes after heated debate in parliament and weeks of protest

France has become the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage , pushing through François Hollande's flagship social change after months of street protests, political slanging matches and a rise in homophobic attacks.
After 331 votes for and 225 votes against, there were chants of "Equality. Equality." in the French assembly, where the Socialists have an absolute majority. But thousands of riot police and water cannons were in place near the parliament building in Paris in advance of planned demonstrations against the law.
The right to marriage and adoption for everyone regardless of sexual orientation has proved bitterly divisive in France, triggering the biggest conservative and rightwing street protests in 30 years. Recent weeks have seen more than 200 arrests as police teargassed late-night demonstrators near parliament. More than 172 hours of heated debate in the assembly and the senate meant the bill was one of the most debated in recent history, with furious clashes and a near fist-fightbetween politicians.
One rightwing MP warned the government was "killing children" by allowing same-sex married couples to adopt and one senator warned gay marriage would open the way to people being able to marry animals or objects. MPs in favour of the bill received death threats, skinheads attacked a gay bar in Lille, and gay rights groups reported a rise in homophobic attacks.
Before the vote, the speaker of the assembly ordered the expulsion of noisy protesters from the public gallery, calling them "enemies of democracy".
The vote makes France the ninth country in Europe to legalise same-sex marriage and the first ceremonies could take place this summer.

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