Gay couples in France will soon be allowed to get married and adopt children. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced today that starting in 2013, France will take two big steps toward equal rights.
“In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination. Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing… The government will respond to that.”
According to the AFP, several European countries already allow gay couples to marry and adopt. Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden all allow gay couples to adopt. In France, however, only legally married couples and straight couples in civil unions can adopt.
The announcement confirms an election promise made by President Francois Hollande.
“The government has made it an objective for the next few months to work on implementing its campaign commitments on the fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The BBC reports that a majority of French civilians support gay marriage. According to a recent Ifop survey, 63% of people support gay marriage and 56% support gay adoption. Gays also make up 6.5% of the electorate compared to 4.5% of practicing Catholics.