Same-sex couples are declaring victory in France Tuesday as the lower house of parliament approves same-sex marriage and the right for same-sex couples to adopt.
According to the Associated Press:
The measure, approved in the National Assembly in a 329-to-229 vote, puts France on track to join about a dozen mostly European nations that allow gay marriage and comes despite a string of recent demonstrations by opponents of the so-called “marriage for all” bill.
Polls show most French support legalizing gay marriage, though that backing softens when questions about the adoption and conception of children come into play.
The Assembly has been debating the bill, and voting on its individual articles in recent weeks. The overall bill now goes to the Senate, which is also controlled by the Socialists and their allies.
With the 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 six states in the United States.
“This law is going to extend to all families the protections guaranteed by the institution of marriage,” Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said before the vote. “Contrary to what those who vociferate against it say — fortunately they’re in the minority — this law is going to strengthen the institution of marriage.”
“This law is a first necessary step, a social evolution that benefits society overall,” said Socialist representative Corinne Narassiguin, announcing her party’s support for the measure. “Opening up marriage and adoption to homosexual couples is a very beautiful advance … It is an emblematic vote, a vote that will mark history.”
Two items that were not included in Tuesday’s win: assisted fertility and reproductive benefits. A separate bill is expected to be introduced later this year.