By Tatiana Tissot
Today, France became the 14th country in the world to allow gay marriage. As expected, the law was adopted by the National Assembly shortly after 5 pm in Paris (local time). The bill also grants gay couples the right to adopt children, but not to use assisted procreation methods.
Among the 556 deputies who attended the vote, 331 were in favor of the bill, and 225 against it. After the proclamation of the law by the National Assembly president, the deputies who supported gay marriage applauded and cried “It’s over, it’s over!”
Meanwhile, the law’s opponents quickly left the room, and the UMP party deputies announced they would submit the bill to the Constitutional Council tonight.
Nevertheless, rejection of the text is not likely according to analysts, and this shouldn’t postpone the law’s application.
“The text will allow gay couples to conceive a marital project, further than the PACS civil union did, as well as a parental project,” said French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, one of the government’s most fervent defender of the bill. “This is a text of equality, which opens the beautiful institution of marriage to citizens whose equality had not been recognized so far.”
Numerous left-wing politicians wrote supportive messages throughout the afternoon.
Cécile Duflot, Minister of Territorial Equality and Housing, posted on Twitter: “23 April 2033 : 20th anniversary of the vote on gay wedding : my grandsons can’t believe it hasn’t always existed.”
“This historical vote opens the road for more Equality towards same-sex couples,” the French LGBT Federation said. “Wedding and adoption are only a first step towards the change in society that we are demanding.”
The first same-sex weddings should be celebrated in June. “They will bring joy to this country,” Christiane Taubira said. The first union will symbolically be celebrated in Montpellier, a gay-friendly city in the South of France.
The Minister of Women’s Rights and Government spokesperson, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, chose two activists to embody the new law. They are Vincent Autin, head of the local Gay Pride Association, and his partner Bruno.
“We don’t know yet when the wedding will take place, but it will be a tribute to all supporters who made it possible, and who will continue to campaign on other subjects,” Vincent Autin told 429Magazine.
“It’s a socially aware struggle: we’re preparing tomorrow’s France for the children, including the kids of gay wedding opponents who will turn out to be gay,” the future groom added. He was shopping for wedding suits with his soon to be husband on Saturday, followed by a cameraman from a French TV channel, their friends and family.
LGBT associations are nevertheless worried because of the increasing homophobia in the country. “We wonder what’s going to happen when the Gay Prides events take place,” Zoe, from Montpellier’s A.N.G.E.L association, told us.
For the time being, same-sex marriage supporters are ready to celebrate this historical vote in the streets of Paris, and other cities of the country such as Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier or Lille.