French opposition socialists rally behind gay marriage
May 12, 2004
PARIS — France's opposition Socialists, spurred on by their allies in
the Greens party – one of whom plans to celebrate France's first
gay marriage next month – on Tuesday urged the French to back
Head of the French Socialist party Francois Hollande speaks May 2004 in Paris |
Photo - AFP
Socialist party leader Francois Hollande told AFP he would ask
his party to file a draft law that would put civil marriage on
France's statute books, no matter what the gender of the two people
asking to be married.
"Every society should be organized on the principle of equal
rights and respect. As a result, marriage should be open to
everybody," Hollande said.
Hollande's comments came as Greens parliamentary deputy and
former presidential candidate Noel Mamere planned to celebrate
France's first same-sex marriage between two men on June 5.
Mamere, the mayor of Begles in the suburbs of the southwestern
city of Bordeaux, has said that nothing in French law specifies
that marriages must be between a man and a woman, and has
threatened to take any challenge to the European Court of Human
French Justice Minister Dominique Perben has countered by saying
that any gay marriage would be null and void, and has called on
judicial authorities to block the ceremony.
Former finance minister and party heavyweight Dominique
Strauss-Kahn backed Hollande in an interview with the left-leaning
Liberation, adding that he supported the adoption of children by
gay or lesbian couples.
"What has marriage become? A solemn declaration of love between
two beings who love each other, and a contract to protect the
interests and inheritance of the partners. As far as I'm concerned,
I don't see any reason to deny this to two people of the same sex,"
"Sexual orientation does not determine one's ability to raise a
child," he noted, adding: "What counts is the happiness of the
child and his future, whether with a heterosexual or a homosexual
Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe, one of France's few openly gay
politicians, said he was "obviously for adoption by homosexual
parents". On the issue of gay marriage, he reiterated that he
supported "equal rights", provided there was a "legal component".
Although the Netherlands and Belgium are the only European
countries to allow same-sex civil marriages, France and several
other states allow civil unions for both heterosexual and
France's Civil Solidarity Pact (known as PACS) was introduced in
1999 and gives all adult couples, including homosexual ones, many
of the same fiscal and social rights as married partners. – Sapa-AFP
French justice minister declares planned gay marriage void [06/05/204]