French gay marriage and adoption bill backed by cabinet

People parade during the 12th edition of Gay Pride in Paris At present, only married couples and not civil union partners can adopt in France

Related Stories

France's Socialist government has approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage and allow gay couples to adopt.

The bill, opposed by more than 1,000 mayors and the Catholic Church, will be debated by parliament in January.

France already allows civil unions between same-sex couples, but it was a campaign pledge of President Francois Hollande to extend their rights.

It is one of the most divisive issues he has faced, correspondents say.

Mr Hollande told his cabinet that the bill would mean "progress not only for individuals but for the whole of society".

But at the weekend the head of the French Council of Bishops, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, described gay marriage as "the ultimate deceit".

And an opposition senator in the conservative UMP, Serge Dassault, said: "It's the end of the family, the end of children's development, the end of education - it's an enormous danger to the nation."

More than 1,000 mayors have signed a petition against the proposed changes, there have been protests in 75 towns and cities, and one opposition politician has even suggested that legalising gay marriage could lead to polygamy, says the BBC's Maddy Savage in Paris.

Some in the government argue that the law should go even further by offering state funding for artificial insemination for gay couples.

At present only married couples - not civil union partners - can adopt in France.

A number of European nations, including Germany, Sweden and the UK, already allow gay adoption.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

  • Man holding lipWitch hunt

    The country where a blasphemy charge is a death sentence

  • Espresso cupNews quiz

    Which city serves the strongest cup of coffee?

  • Irvine WelshDeaf ears

    Five famous Scots who can't vote in the Scottish referendum

  • Electric chairReturn of 'the chair'

    Five people talk about their roles in Tennessee's execution debate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Canada.Hidden rail trip

    Canada's tiny, two-car shuttle is a train lover's dream with scenic views


  • Leader of Hamas Khaled MeshaalHARDtalk Watch

    BBC exclusive: Hamas leader on the eagerness to end bloodshed in Gaza

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.