Despite months of division in the country, marked by violence and protests from anti-gay bigots and thugs France has became the ninth county in Europe and the 14th nation overall to legalize same-sex marriage.
Paris police stepped up security ahead of a final parliamentary vote. Police had legions of officers and a small battery of water cannons at the ready at France’s National Assembly on Tuesday to prevent a repeat of previous street violence. A spokesman for the police union UNSA, Christophe Crepin, said the extraordinary security was in place to protect the city’s gay community. In recent weeks, attacks against gay couples have spiked and some legislators have received threats, including one who got a gunpowder-filled envelope.
The bill passed the lower house of the National Assembly where the ruling Socialist Party and its allies voted 331-225 to give same-sex couples the legal right to marry and adopt children.
Justice Minister Christiane Taubira immediately hailed the adoption of the bill as a “historic” moment in French history.
“It grants new rights, stands firmly against discrimination (and) testifies to our country’s respect for the institution of marriage,” she said in a statement shortly after the vote. “This law… brightens the horizons of many of our citizens who were deprived of these rights,” she said.
Meanwhile opponents vow to continue their protests and anti gay marriage bigots will hold a protest tonight at 7pm
The bill now has to be signed by President Francois Hollande, who gave his formal approval last November.
The National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been silent since the passage of same-sex marriage in France but shortly before the vote this morning he posted the following message on the NOM website:
“It appears that France’s socialist government is on the verge of succeeding in their ill-conceived quest to redefine marriage, despite massive grassroots opposition from the citizenry. We urge all French citizens to contact lawmakers to express their strong opposition to this policy. We also call on all citizens to conduct themselves honorably and peacefully. Even though the same-sex marriage policy being foisted on an unwilling public is profoundly unwise and anti-family, no citizen should ever express their disapproval through violent means. We condemn in the strongest possible terms violence by anyone on either side of this debate.
If the government of France does succeed with this vote to redefine marriage, it will not be the end of the debate. It will be time to hold the government accountable and to act to restore marriage to its rightful place as a good and honorable institution that brings husbands and wives together to provide children with both a mother and a father. NOM will continue to work with our friends in France to defend marriage as our most important social institution.
Anyone know how to say “fucking loser” in French?