French senate votes to legalise gay marriage

French Family minister Dominique Bertinotti addresses the senators in the semicircle of the French Senate in Paris, on 4 April 2013 French Family minister Dominique Bertinotti was one of those who spoke during the debate

Related Stories

France's upper house of parliament has voted to legalise gay marriage.

The bill - which was approved with only minor amendments - is now certain to become law after a final vote in the lower house, expected in May.

There have been several demonstrations in Paris both for and against the bill.

Gay rights organisations say homosexuals are being increasingly targeted amid opposition to government plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children.

Friday's Senate vote, by a show of hands, came after senators had on Wednesday approved the first article of the bill allowing gay couples to marry and adopt, by 179 votes to 157.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira praised the result, saying the Senate had strengthened French society "by granting the simple recognition of full citizenship to homosexual couples".

The bill is now set to become law after technical second readings in both houses of parliament.

Protesters hold a rally in Paris against critics of a gay marriage bill, claiming they are homophobic Activists say there has been a rapid rise in homophobic assaults in recent months

On Thursday, some 5,000 people took part in a protest in Paris linking critics of the gay marriage bill to homophobia.

The rally came as an image apparently showing the victim of a homophobic attack went viral on social media.

Opponents of the bill have denied homophobia and denounced violence.

Opinion polls suggest that around 55-60% of French people support gay marriage, but only about 50% approve of gay adoption.

The anti-gay marriage lobby, backed by the Catholic Church and right-wing opposition, has already held large marches in Paris.

It argues the move would undermine an essential building block of society.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

  • Dana Lone HillDana Lone Hill

    The Native American names that break Facebook rules

  • Painting from Rothschild collectionDark arts Watch

    The 50-year fight to recover paintings looted by the Nazis

  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree


  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.