France

President François Hollande signs into law same-sex marriage

François Hollande at a press conference in Paris
François Hollande at a press conference in Paris REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

 President François Hollande’s signing of the same-sex marriage law today makes France the 14th country in the world to legalise gay marriage.

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 Today marks an end to the months of bitter political debate surrounding the contentious topic of gay marriage and gay adoption. Just a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition – the last obstacle to passing the bill into law – Hollande acted fast to sign this into law. 

“Marriage for all” was a central point of his presidential election campaign last year. Arguing yesterday, he said it was “time to respect the law and the Republic”.

He added that he would tolerate no resistance and would “ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full, and I will not accept and disruption of these marriages”.

The first gay marriage is due to take place on 29 May in the southern town of Montpellier. The Socialist mayor will officiate the ceremony.

Despite this victory for supporters, opponents have vowed to fight on. A major protest rally is schedule for 26 May in Paris. Previous protests of this kind have drawn in hundreds of people.

But Friday’s statement by the Constitutional Council said same-sex marriage “did not run contrary to any constitutional principles” and ultimately did not infringe on “basic rights or liberties or national sovereignty”.

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