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French Senate approvesmarriage equality

It was the bill that divided a nation, leading to massive protests and counter protests on the streets of Paris and several other French cities.

And following 10 hours of discussion, the French Senate has voted 179 to 157 in favour of allowing same-sex couples in the nation to legally marry.

That’s just the first part of the bill though – the Senate must now discuss a second section, involving adoption for same-sex couples.

If that is also agreed upon, all that remains is for President François Hollande to sign it into law – and he’s already signaled his support. If all’s well, Parisian same-sex couples could be legally walking down the aisle in the next few months.

The Senate vote comes after volatile scenes recently on the streets of Paris, where riot police used tear gas to break apart angry protesters rallying against marriage equality. See the footage here.

“Given the abuses that took place either through demonstrations of violence in the street, either by verbal outbursts in the chamber, the vote on this article marks a victory for the fight against homophobia, the tolerance and of democracy,” Socialist Party MP François Rebsamen reacts.

A French poll last year found that 65% of respondents were in favour of same-sex marriage, while 53% supported adoption rights for same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Parliament is also about to approve marriage equality – the country’s third vote on the legislation is scheduled for next week. It has strong support so LGBTI equality activists there are confident of its success.

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Frisko88 said on the 10th Apr, 2013

There is a small mistake in your article. The Senate has done some changes to the text of the law proposal especially concerning adoption. So even if the first article which has just been voted was not change. The lower chamber (assemble nationale) will have to vote again.