Gay Marriage Bill Rejected By French Parliament

The French Parliament rejected a bill today that had been presented by the Socialist Party. The bill sought to legalize same-sex marriage. The National Assembly turned down the measure by 293 votes to 222. Opposition was led by Sarkozy’s majority, while Socialists and others supported the bill, which said “marriage can be contracted by two people of different sexes or of the same sex.”

In early 2011, France’s highest court ruled that laws banning gay marriage don’t violate the constitution. The Constitutional Court said any change would be up to parliament to decide.

In France, same-sex couples can form civil unions, but those union laws do not include inheritance rights or joint custody of goods. A poll published early this year by Canal Plus TV found 58% of respondents in France believe gays should be able to marry, which is up from 45%, just five years ago.