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Topics In the News
 
New French Government Pledges Marriage Equality
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 05/18/12
Last updated on: 05/18/12
 
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Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault (CCbySA, Flickr: jmayrault).

France's newly sworn-in Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced a commitment to implement new President Francois Hollande's promise of equal marriage and adoption rights. The Prime Minister, who took office on May 15, 2012, marked the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia on May 17 by issuing a communiqué pledging to enact the President's promise into law.

As Stephen Gray reports in PinkNews, the communiqué reads as follows: "On the occasion of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the Government's commitment against violence and discrimination perpetrated as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity."

"The Government is determined to challenge prejudice and to put an end to discrimination and violence. It will implement the commitment of the President of the Republic to extend the right to marriage and adoption to gay couples."

Currently, both gay and straight French couples may enter into Civil Solidarity Pacts (PACS), which provide some of the rights and responsibilities of marriage; but only heterosexual couples can marry.

PACS do not confer the right to joint adoption or artificial insemination.

President Hollande's election manifesto pledged unequivocally, "I will open the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual couples."

Hollande's position was in stark contrast to that of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, who emphasized his view of the family as necessarily heterosexual, saying that he would oppose any law stating that a gay relationship is equal to a straight one.

In June 2011, France's Parliament defeated a Socialist-sponsored bill to establish marriage equality on a 293-222 vote. However, prospects for the bill should be improved after the legislative elections next month in which the Socialist Party is expected to do well.

The video below depicts the transition of power from Sarkozy to Hollande.

 
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