It was not even close. The French National Assembly voted 249 to 97 in favor of marriage equality. The Socialists and their left-wing supporters had more than enough votes to defeat opposition from the UMP and their allies. Polling showed that the French support marriage equality by a healthy margin, though the issue of same-sex couples adopting is still a tad controversial.
This is not the end of the debate, but this article is now passed, and it is likely that the whole bill will pass shortly. The bill still has to undergo a lot of debate as Members of Parliament from the center-right try to stall the bill as long as possible by shoving hundreds of amendments into it.
It is very likely that the article allowing same-sex couples to adopt will also be approved.
Justice Minister Christiane Taubira stated “We are happy and proud to have taken this first step. We are going to establish the freedom for everyone to choose his or her partner for a future together.”
Despite the polls showing otherwise, UMP MP Philippe Gosseline stated that the legislation is only the beginning of a trend that the French do not want, and that “Today it is marriage and adoption. Tomorrow it will be medically assisted conception and surrogate mothers.”
Gosseline’s comments are a dual example of the excuses that anti-marriage equality foes use. In this case, Gosseline uses both the ‘slippery slope’ argument and the ‘unspecified people support my position’ argument. The Catholic Church, which Gosseline apparently equates with the French people as a whole, are opposed to those specific things.
The law should be on the books by the end of the year.