Poland's ruling party is expected to introduce legislation which would recognize gay and lesbian couples with civil partnerships.

The Platforma Obywatelska (PO) Party decided last week to propose the legislation after several months of debate, according to Gay Star News.

The draft bill is similar to France's PACS and would offer inheritance, pension funds, notary and medical rights to partners, but couples could not file joint tax returns and would remain banned from jointly adopting a child.

France's recently elected Socialist government has promised to legalize gay marriage in 2013.

The move surprised political analysts since last year the PO opposed similar proposals introduced by liberal parties.

Conservative ranks within the PO and right wing parties are expected to object to the bill. But Gay Star News reported that neither President Bronislaw Komorowski, an independent, nor Prime Minister Donald Tusk, the co-founder and chairman of the PO, have expressed opposition to the proposed law.

Currently, Poland does not recognize the relationships of gay and lesbian couples and the republic's constitution defines marriage as a heterosexual union.