France´s parliament will finally approve a bill to legalise gay marriage today after months of protests that have shown no sign of abating in the run-up to the historic vote.
The Bill, intended to make France the 14th country in the world to allow same-sex marriage, is expected to be comfortably carried given the comfortable majority enjoyed by the ruling Socialists and their allies in the lower house National Assembly.
In February, deputies voted 329-229 in favour of the Bill on its first reading and a similar result is anticipated when the formal ballot on the second and final reading takes place around 1500 GMT (2030 IST).
The Bill will also accord gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children.
Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, a supporter of the bill, said legalizing gay marriage and enshrining adoption rights “is an act of freedom, it is an act of equality, and it is an act of brotherhood”. The Bill, which will also accord gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children, will only become law when it is signed by President Francois Hollande and published in the Official Journal.
Supporters are planning a celebratory rally and opponents will stage protests in Paris and across the country, but that is unlikely to be the end of what has been one of the most divisive debates in France´s recent history.
Source: Los Angeles Times