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 9:02 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
updated 11:33 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
updated 12:07 PM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
updated 1:48 PM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
updated 5:59 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
updated 9:19 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014
With so many new attractions on the way, the next few years are going to be a roller coaster ride.
updated 12:29 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
Thomas Malthus famously predicted that rising populations would create a food crunch: Could this be true?
updated 5:45 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
The lives of everyone close to Oscar Pistorius and the girl he killed are changed forever, his siblings say.
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 2014
Gene Simmons reflects on 40 years of KISS, and how even rock royalty needs sound business principles.
updated 6:33 AM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
From "Sick Man of Europe" to the world's fourth largest economy.
updated 5:15 AM EDT, Wed October 22, 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