The French government have announced that October 31st is the date when a draft law authorising equal marriage will be approved by government ministers.
There had been widespread political and religious opposition, to the bill however Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault insisted there would be no backtracking on a manifesto promise by President Francois Hollande in an interview with local French news agency AFP.
More than 1,200 French mayors and deputy mayors have signed a petition opposing the government’s plans, with many of them warning they will not preside over same-sex ceremonies. Whilst that number may seem significant, it represents less than one percent of French mayors.
Last week, Francois Lebel, a district mayor in Paris who had previously married former President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni, said that he would not conduct marriages for same-sex couples and suggested the measure could open the door to the approval of polygamous or incestuous unions. Although quite how such a move would allow the ‘door to be opened’ is beyond all legal, moral and political understanding.
Prime Minister Ayrault said the draft legislation will include provision for married gay couples to adopt children but the right will not be immediately extended to unmarried gay couples.