FRENCH PRIME MINISTER PROMISES GAY MARRIAGE
Tue, 3 July 2012France's new Prime Minister has promised to legalise same-sex marriage and gay adoption in the country within a year.
"In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination," Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told parliament on Tuesday.
"Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing. The government will respond to that," he said.
The announcement followed a statement on Paris Pride day over the weekend by government spokesperson Najat Vallaud-Belkacem that a marriage equality law will be passed next year.
During his campaign for the 2012 presidential election, President François Hollande also declared his support for same-sex marriage.
His Socialist Party has an absolute majority in the French parliament, which means that the proposed law should be passed with ease.
Under current law, same-sex couples in France can enter into civil unions, known as 'pacte civil de solidarité' or PACS, but not marriage.
In Europe, same-sex marriage is legal in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.