French Lower House Passes Gay Marriage, Adoption Bill
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France’s lower house of parliament has approved on Tuesday the bill to legalize gay marriage and adoption by 329 votes to 229

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Image Source: The Washington Post BY SOLE MALDONADO AYUSO ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS   The National Assembly of France, the lower house, approved a bill Tuesday legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption. The bill has been sent to the Senate where it’s widely expected to become a law, with socialists also dominating the upper house. According to Fox News , the passage is a legislative victory for President Fran ç ois Hollande and his party on a controversial social issue. France Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said before the votation: “This law is going to extend to all families the protections guaranteed by the institution of marriage. Contrary to what those who vociferate against it say -- fortunately they're in the minority -- this law is going to strengthen the institution of marriage.” Polls show a majority of the French people support legalizing gay marriage, but the issues of adoption and conception of children are more polarizing. The Cardinal of Paris, André Vingt-Trois, said at the annual plenary meeting of Catholic bishops: “ Changes of this magnitude require a broad national debate that does not involve random sampling or pressure from some ostentatious lobby.” In the last few days there have been numerous demonstrations of support as well as protests in the streets of Paris. France 24 says the French conservatives accuse president Hollande of causing unnecessary social disorder. The passage of the bill comes just a week after the United Kingdom legalized gay marriage. But, while the bill’s approval has caused a huge rift in the British Conservative Party, the French Socialists are very united. Telegraph columnist Christian Booker says that European Union Institutions are exerting too much influence on British politics. “ The greatest puzzle about the ‘gay marriage’ furor is why this issue suddenly erupted from nowhere to the top of the political agenda. … And why, just as it was provoking the biggest Tory rebellion in decades, was it also prompting a similar row in the French National Assembly?” Booker points to a 2010 recommendation from the Council of Europe to protect homoesexuals from descrimination on the ground of sexual orientation or gender identity as a major turning point for government's stance on gay marriage. He also says  gay lobbying has played an important role too. But CNN says France and the U.K. are just following a larger trend. “ Same-sex marriage is already legal in eight European countries, including the Netherlands and Spain, as well as in Argentina, Canada, South Africa and some states of Brazil ”. The French Senate will take up the bill in April.