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French government presents same-sex marriage, adoption bill to Parliament

French government presents same-sex marriage, adoption bill to Parliament

PARIS — The French government has presented its plan to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption to Parliament for debate.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told the national assembly Tuesday that the bill constitutes an “act of equality. … Finally, marriage will be a universal institution.”

“We have never underestimated the importance of this reform,” Taubira said of the plan that’s divided the Catholic-majority country.

People demonstrate in support of the government plan to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption for same-sex couples in Paris, France, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.
Photo: Benjamin Girette, Associated Press

President Francois Hollande’s “marriage for everyone” pledge has seen hundreds of thousands of supporters and opponents take to the Paris streets in separate demonstrations in the past two weeks.

More than 125,000 people marched in Paris Sunday in support of the bill that would legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples.

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Demonstrators waved banners emblazoned with phrases such as “Equality of rights is not a threat” as they began marching Sunday from Denfert-Rochereau square in the southern part of the city.

Two weeks earlier, a crowd estimated at 340,000 turned out for a demonstration to oppose the marriage equality bill.

About 63 percent of French people favor legalizing same-sex marriage, according to a survey released Saturday, up from 60 percent in December.

The bill is set to be debated over two weeks.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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