A majority of French citizens want to
vote on a proposed gay marriage bill.
According to a poll of 1,008 people
released Thursday by the French Institute of Public Opinion,
sixty-nine percent of respondents want a referendum on the issue.
The Socialist government of Francois
Hollande in November sent a proposed plan to legalize marriage and
adoption for gay couples to lawmakers for debate. The National
Assembly is expected to start examining the legislation at the end of
this month, and a vote could come by mid-2013.
Strong opposition appears to have taken
the government by surprise.
Demonstrations in opposition to
legalizing gay nuptials have attracted a greater number of people
than rallies in support of making France the twelfth and most
influential nation so far to extend marriage rights to gay and
Leading the opposition is the Roman
Catholic Church, whose leader, Pope Benedict XVI, has called on
French Catholics to “defend marriage.” Paris Cardinal Andre
Vingt-Trois labeled the reform “a fraud.”
Benedict XVI calls on the French Church to fight gay marriage.)