Liberté, égalité, fraternité! The French National Assembly has overwhelmingly voted for its second and final approval of the "Marriage for All" bill that would recognize marriage equality and gay adoptions. The vote of was 329-229, reports France24.
The law is President François Hollande’s first major social reform. ... [The bill] will allow same-sex couples the same spousal and adoption rights as their heterosexual counterparts. The move is France’s biggest social reform since the abolition of the death penalty in 1981. Speaking after the vote, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told journalists "We've waged a great and noble battle."
The vote follows a lengthy and acrimonious parliamentary debate and more than 5,000 amendments put forward by the conservative opposition. The amendments, filed in order to delay proceedings, saw some 100 hours of parliamentary debate, often continuing into the early hours of the morning.
The issue has proved to be hugely divisive in a country steeped in conservative Catholic values, despite its global reputation as a progressive nation. While some 51% of people support same-sex marriage, less than half agree with equal rights involving children.
The Socialist-domniated Senate is scheduled to debate the bill on April 2. Approval is expected.
Justice Minister Christiane Taubira would implement the new bill if it becomes law. Taubira is the highest ranking Black cabinet official ever in French government.
France would become the 12th nation to recognize equal marriage. Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Sweden already mandate equal marriage. Mexico City and two Mexican states also mandate equal marriage. Nine U.S. states and Washington DC have legalized same-sex marriage, too. Meanwhile: The UK's House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for a marriage bill last week.