France's June 17 elections gave the
Socialist Party of French President Francois Hollande a commanding
parliamentary majority, which nearly assures France will become the
next European nation to legalize gay marriage.
Hollande's Socialist Party won 314 of
Parliament's 577 seats, giving the nascent president a free hand with
which to enact his liberal reforms. The president can also rely on
the support of 27 left-leaning candidates who also won legislative
posts. Conservatives lost 111 seats in Sunday's elections.
A Hollande administration backed by
Socialist majorities means good news for supporters of France
becoming the 12th nation to legalize gay nuptials.
As a candidate, Hollande pledged to
pursue such legislation.
A communique issued last month by the
office of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to mark the International
Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) reiterated Hollande's
campaign promises to the gay community.
“On the occasion of International Day
Against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Prime Minister reaffirmed the
Government's commitment against violence and discrimination
perpetrated as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“The Government is determined to
challenge prejudice and put an end to discrimination and violence.
It will implement the commitment of the President of the Republic to
the right to marriage and adoption to gay couples.”
Currently, France recognizes gay
couples with PACS, a form of domestic partnership which offers
significantly fewer protections for gay couples than marriage.
During the campaign, former President
Nicolas Sarkozy reiterated his opposition to marriage equality,
saying that “For me, a family is a father and a mother, not two
fathers or two mothers.”
If approved, France would become the
12th country to approve such unions, behind Argentina,
Belgium, Canada, Spain, Holland, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, South
Africa, Sweden and most recently Denmark.
England is also debating the issue.