French Senate starts gay marriage debate amid loud protests

April 5, 2013

(People chant slogans as they demonstrate against gay marriage, adoption and procreation assistance in Paris, April 4, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

The French Senate took its first look on Thursday at President Francois Hollande’s gay marriage bill, which has passed in the lower house but divided society as opponents clamoured for a referendum.

The bill, which gives homosexual couples the right to marry and adopt children, was designed to be Hollande’s first historic social reform, on par with former Socialist President Francois Mitterrand’s abolition of the death penalty in 1981.

But it has divided French society, pitting Catholics and conservatives against social reformers, left-wingers and gay people.

Several large demonstrations against it have caught the Socialist government off guard. On Thursday hundreds of protesters waving flags with the words “Jobs, not gay marriage” gathered near the Senate under drizzling rain, surrounded by riot police trucks.

Despite loud opposition and street protests last month that became violent, the gay marriage bill is expected to pass in the Senate thanks to backing by Socialists and allies supporting the bill. The debate is due to conclude on April 13.

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One comment

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Your article incorrectly reports that “divided French society, pitting Catholics and conservatives against social reformers, left-wingers and gay people”

There are “gay people” (as you have labled them) who are opposed to “gay marriage,” as found in this article: like-heterosexuals-read-from-gay-people- who-oppose-gay-marriages/

I’m sure there are “Catholics” and “conservatives” as well who are for “gay marriage.” This is part of the difficulty with lazy reporting is that it contributes to the division of our society and world “us vs. them” is becoming a prominent theme in how we view the world. I would hope that Reuters would work for true reporting fo the issues rather than being subject to the juvenille whims of our society that simply lables people for the ease of dismissing them. These are all people who are passionate about this issue, and its important that we see them all as people. Please work agains this trend in your reporting, if not for the purpose of helping our society, at least for accuracy in reporting.

Posted by wild99g | Report as abusive