Skip to main content

French Senate backs same-sex marriage bill

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
updated 3:48 PM EDT, Sun April 14, 2013
People take part in a protest against gay marriage on April 4, 2013, in front of the French Senate in Paris.
People take part in a protest against gay marriage on April 4, 2013, in front of the French Senate in Paris.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • French Senate approves a bill that would extend the right to marry to same-sex couples
  • The controversial bill would also allow same-sex couples to adopt
  • The move has been opposed by social conservatives and the Catholic Church
  • The legislation has won wide backing from gay rights advocates

(CNN) -- The French Senate approved a controversial bill Friday that would give same-sex couples the rights to marry and adopt.

The lower house has already approved the legislation.

The bill, to which 10 amendments were made in the Senate, must still go through a second reading in the National Assembly and a final reading in the upper house.

The date for those readings has not yet been set.

Same-sex marriage battle in France
Open Mic: French on same-sex marriage

Minister for the Family Dominique Berinotti told CNN affiliate BFM-TV that the Senate vote was a "beautiful victory."

Extending the rights to marry and adopt to same-sex couples in France was one of President Francois Hollande's electoral pledges in campaigning last year.

The left, which includes Hollande's governing Socialist Party, dominates the National Assembly, where the bill passed by a large majority in February. The party has only a slim majority in the Senate.

The plan faced stiff opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, other religious groups and social conservatives, with huge numbers turning out for protests in recent weeks.

It won wide backing from gay rights advocates.

The new law would mark the biggest step forward for French gay rights advocates in more than a decade.

A law legalizing civil unions was introduced in 1999 in France under a previous Socialist government.

Known in France as the PACS (pacte civil de solidarite), the civil union agreement can be entered into by same-sex or straight couples and confers many but not all of the rights of marriage.

Same-sex marriage: Who will legalize it next?

CNN's Niki Cook and Charles Pellegrin contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:24 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
updated 3:41 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
updated 10:13 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
updated 5:36 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT