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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
 
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
 
Native Americans
A social role for individuals who crossed or mixed male and female characteristics was one of the most widely distributed institutions of native North America.
 
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
 
Mixed-Orientation Marriages
Mixed-orientation marriages--those in which one partner is straight and the other is gay or lesbian--often end in divorce, but such an ending is not inevitable.
 
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
 
Transgender Activism
Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.
 
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
 
Topics In the News
 
French President Signs Marriage Equality Legislation after Constitutional Council Clears It
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 05/17/13
Last updated on: 05/18/13
 
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On May 17, 2013, France's Constitutional Council rejected an appeal from opponents of same-sex marriage and declared constitutional the marriage equality legislation recently passed by lop-sided margins in the Senate and the National Assembly. On May 18, 2012, President Hollande signed the bill into law. Marriages will begin in ten days.

As reported by The Local, "The final hurdle preventing the gay marriage bill from becoming law was overcome on Friday when the legislation was passed by France's Constitutional Council, after it turned down a challenge by the opposition."

On April 23, the National Assembly voted handily in favor of the legislation. However, it was immediately appealed by the opposition to the Council, which has the right to nullify legislation that is unconstitutional.

In response to the appeal, on May 17, "Les Sages," as the Council members are known, declared that same-sex marriage does "not run contrary to any constitutional principles," and that it does not infringe "basic rights or liberties or national sovereignty."

The council also ruled that adoption by same-sex couples did not mean that anyone had a "right to a child" and that the "interest of the child" would be the overriding factor in all cases of adoption.

Immediately after the Council's decision was announced, President Hollande said that he was eager to sign the bill. He did so on May 18.

In signing the bill into law, President Hollande reaffirmed his support for marriage equality. "I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full," he said, adding, "and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages." The latter phrase is no doubt a reference to the anti-gay violence that has escalated in the wake on the marriage equality debate.

The first same-sex weddings can be held by the end of the month.

France will become the 15th country to legalize same-sex marriage, joining eight other European nations--the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and Denmark-- and South Africa, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, Uruguay, and Brazil. In addition, same-sex marriage is legal in portions of Mexico and the United States.

French opponents of same-sex marriage have pledged to continue to protest the new law with mass demonstrations.

Nevertheless, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira hailed the adoption of the bill as a "historic" moment in French history.

"It grants new rights, stands firmly against discrimination (and) testifies to our country's respect for the institution of marriage," she said in a statement shortly after the April 23 vote in the National Assembly.

The video below reports on President Hollande's signing the bill into law.

The news video below reports on the legislative victory and the homophobia that surfaced during the struggle for equality.

 
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