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France same-sex marriage bill passes crucial Senate vote

Approval of Article 1 almost guarantees that gay couples will soon be able to marry in France
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
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PARIS — The upper house of the French parliament, the Senate, on Tuesday evening approved the first and most crucial article of a draft law that would legalize same-sex marriage in France.

After more than 10 hours of debate, the Senate adopted Article 1 by a vote of 179-157 –that article eliminates opposite gender as a condition of the right to marriage.

The Senate must still debate and vote on other key portions of the bill, including adoption rights for same-sex couples, but Tuesday’s approval of Article 1 almost guarantees that gay couples will soon be able to marry in France.

This vote becomes final unless the entire bill is rejected after consideration by the Senate, and will not be subjected to a second reading in the National Assembly or the CMP (Mixed Commission), reported AFP.

The lower house of the French parliament, the National Assembly, approved the bill last month.

Both houses are dominated by President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies.

Hollande, who campaigned in favor of same-sex marriage and adoption last year, could sign an approved bill into law as early as summer.

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