French Senate Passes Key Vote For Marriage Equality

Charles Platiau / Reuters

General view of the French Senate as French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira delivers a speech during the opening session of debate on the same-sex marriage bill in Paris April 4, 2013.

Same-sex couples are a crucial step closer to being able to marry in France, following a vote in favor of marriage equality by the Senate Tuesday.

After more than 10 hours of debate, the French Senate passed the first article of a bill that would lead to same-sex couples’ marriage rights in France on a 179-157 vote, according to an AFP report.

The Senate still needs to address other portions of the bill, including one addressing same-sex couples’ adoption rights. The Senate is expected to finish voting on the other articles by the end of the week, however, at which point it will vote on the bill in its entirety.

The National Assembly passed the full bill in February, and President Francois Hollande has strongly supported the measure.

From a translation of the AFP article:

The Senate passed the evening of Tuesday, April 9, the first article of the bill on gay marriage, the most important, which opens the marriage to persons of the same sex. This article was adopted by 179 votes against 157, unchanged compared to the first reading vote in the National Assembly. This vote becomes final unless the entire bill was rejected after consideration by the Senate. It will not be subjected to a second reading in the National Assembly or the CMP (Mixed Commission).

If changes are made to the bill in the coming days, the National Assembly will need to vote on the bill again. If, as with the marriage article, no changes are made to the other articles and the bill is approved, then no further vote of the National Assembly will be needed before the bill can become law.

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