Skip to main content

French Senate backs same-sex marriage bill

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
April 14, 2013 -- Updated 1948 GMT (0348 HKT)
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
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0320 GMT (1120 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1431 GMT (2231 HKT)
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