Despite a “sharp ideological divide,” France is now the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage.
On Tuesday, despite massive, and sometimes violent protests, France’s parliament passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. France is not the 14th country across the globe to do so. According to NBC News, “Lawmakers in the lower house National Assembly … passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against.”
The new law also allows same-sex couples to adopt, or to use a surrogate mother for gay couples who want a biological child. 31-year-old Martin Gaillard, who is a gay marriage advocate and founded the website Projet Entourage LGBT, told France24.com, “I hope people across the country will celebrate this moment.”
However, according to reports, the issue of same-sex marriage has “revealed a sharp ideological divide in French society,” and led to some of the largest demonstrations, both for and against the legislation, seen in France in quite a few years. There were violent clashes with police in Paris in March, and a significant rise in homophobic attacks have been attributed to the controversy of the new law. Last week several “quarreling MP’s” allegedly came to blows and security had to intervene to separate them. According to the Associated Press:
Legions of officers and water cannon stood ready near France’s National Assembly ahead of the final vote, bracing for possible violence on an issue that galvanized the country’s faltering conservative movement.
Although the crowd was emotionally charged, and there were cheers and boos when the decision was announced. There have not been any reports of violence following the National Assembly’s vote.
Hopefully, now that the bill has been passed, we will see a reduction in the violence and protests. But only time will tell if France is able to bridge the “ideological divide” that has become so obvious during this legislative process.
Feature Photo: AP File/Remy de la Mauviniere