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French Public Endorse Gay Marriage
by 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.

© 2006


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