French Public Endorse Gay Marriage
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: December 14, 2006 9:00 pm ET
(Paris) A majority of French voters believe
same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
The Ipsos survey shows that 62 percent support
gay marriage, while only 37 percent were opposed.
But on the issue of same-sex couples adopting
children the survey found opposition with 55 percent saying gay and lesbian
couples should not have parenting rights. Forty-four percent said they
believed same-sex couples should be able to adopt.
France passed legislation giving gay and lesbian
couples some of the rights to marriage in 2000, but the right-of center
government has balked at suggestions France join Belgium, Spain and the the
Netherlands in legalizing gay marriage.
In 2004 the mayor of a small community in
southwestern France performed France's first gay marriage.
Begles mayor and Green party politician Noël
Mamère conducted the ceremony, claiming that there are no regulations in the
country or the European Union that could thwart such a ceremony.
The central government in Paris disagreed and
went to court to have the marriage annulled.
Segolene Royal the Socialist Party candidate for
President supports gay marriage.
In June she told the LGBT publication Tetu that
if her party forms the next government she will introduce a gay marriage bill. (story)
The ruling conservative UMP party is expected to
nominate Nicolas Sarkozy to run against her in next April's election.
The UMP has criticized Royal's support for gay
marriage reiterating the government's opposition to same-sex unions and it is
likely to become a campaign issue.
Outside of Europe same-sex marriage is legal in
Canada and South Africa and in the state of Massachusetts. At least 18
other countries offer some form of legal recognition to same sex unions.