Paris: The French senate approved a Bill allowing same-sex marriages and the adoption of children by gay couples, paving the way for it to become law later this year.
The Bill that provoked large protests in Paris was passed in the upper house of the French parliament after a week of what the Le Monde newspaper characterized as intense and virulent debate. It will now go back to the National Assembly, which voted in favour on 12 February, before becoming law.
The gay-marriage Bill has proved controversial in France, a predominantly Catholic country, and led to protests by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on 13 January and 25 March. Although the rally last month was called to challenge the so-called marriage-for-all legislation, some demonstrators also carried placards showing their anger had widened to economic issues.
Still, opinion polls show that a majority of voters favour giving same-sex couples the right to marry, though they oppose giving such couples rights to adoption or medically assisted procreation.
Pollster BVA found that 58% of voters favour gay marriage, while 53% oppose giving gay couples the right to adopt, according to a survey published in January. CSA, another polling company, found that 52% favour gay marriage and the same proportion oppose adoption by same-sex couples.