France has approved a draft bill to allow same-sex marriages.
The proposal would give gay couples the right to adopt children but not access to assisted procreation methods.
The draft was a compromise, leaving out the complex issue of assisted procreation to ease its way through parliament. But left-wing deputies have vowed to amend the text to include it.
Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed, who wed his partner in South Africa, believes the plans do not go far enough: “The ideal for me is that people have choice, so we all have the same rights and that our unions are all recognised by society. I’m less interested in how we call it: PACS (official civil contract between two adults of same-sex or opposite-sex), marriage, live-in partnership. What matters to me is that we all have access to the same rights.”
The draft legislation is the first major social reform of Francois Hollande’s presidency. Parliament is due to vote on it in the middle of next year.
But religious leaders and conservative politicians have fiercely attacked the plan as playing havoc with the civil code.
Thierry Vidor of the Families of France Association said: “there are intrinsic differences between a man and a woman. You can see that in the first years of a child’s life – women and men behave completely differently towards a child.”
Leaders of all major faiths have announced street protests next week against the measure which if passed would make France the 12th country in the world to allow same-sex marriage.