News / Europe

    France Legalizes Gay Marriage

    Equality advocates representing the group "Oui, Oui, Oui," gather after French parliamentarians approve same-sex marriage and adoption, Paris, April 23, 2013.
    Equality advocates representing the group "Oui, Oui, Oui," gather after French parliamentarians approve same-sex marriage and adoption, Paris, April 23, 2013.
    Lisa Bryant
    France became the ninth European country to legalize gay marriage Tuesday, when the country's National Assembly passed a bill on same-sex marriages and adoptions, ending months of bitter and sometimes violent debate.
     
    As lawmakers cheered, France's lower house adopted the "marriage for all" legislation on second reading, with 331 lawmakers voting for the bill and 225 against.

    Addressing the lower house after the vote, French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who described the legislation as beautiful and generous and said she was very emotional, declared that the first same-sex weddings could take place as early as June.
     
    Although passage of the gay marriage bill was largely a foregone conclusion, it has drawn surprisingly strong opposition, with protests gathering tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of people. Many observers believe the demonstrations underscore a broader anger against French President Francois Hollande and his Socialist government.
     
    According to police estimates, about 45,000 people attended one of the final anti-gay-marriage rallies in Paris Sunday. Some brought children and many waved pink banners sporting images of heterosexual families.
     
    One young woman, who gave only her first name, Virginie, said she particularly opposed same-sex adoptions on the grounds that, in her opinion, it poses double burden for the child.
     
    Some of the protests have turned violent in recent weeks and there have been a handful of attacks against gays. Also, the president of the National Assembly received a threatening letter on Monday.
     
    But polls show the majority of French favor gay marriage, and supporters have also turned out in force at their own rallies, including a counter-demonstration Sunday headed by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, who announced that he is gay during a 1988 television interview that preceded his mayoral term.
     
    With the vote, France becomes the fourteenth country worldwide to legalize same-sex unions. But opponents haven't given up, warning they will challenge the legislation in France's Constitutional Council and continue to protest next month.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui from: Santa Cruz, CA
    April 23, 2013 11:44 PM
    Here are two truths regarding marriage: (1) A man creating a family with another man is not equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.

    Same-sex marriage PURPOSELY separates a child from at least one biological parent. Non-biological parents lack the advantage of consanguineous insight leaving them all too often ill-prepared to protect the child from unfamiliar hazards. Left unrecognized and unattended, vicious habits, and irregular passions, obfuscate the mind; and neglect, levity, and prejudices of the ill-equipped non-biological parents precipitate a child into the grossest of errors, rendering the child's conduct a burden to the happiness of both society and the life of the child.

    Children are not pets one purchases from rescue shelters(adoption clinics) and puppy mills(insemination and surrogacy). Children are human beings endowed with a natural desire to be procreated from an engendered act of love between a husband and a wife. Same-sex marriage is adulterous by nature and thereby destructive to not only children, but to civilization.

    “No one has a right to do that which, if everybody did it, would destroy society.” ---Immanuel Kant
    In Response

    by: Victoria from: Michigan
    April 24, 2013 11:39 AM
    Woo! Good job France!

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora