France Legalizes Gay Marriage, Becomes Fourteenth Country to Do So
In 2001, The Netherlands became the first country to legalize gay marriage and days ago New Zealand legalized the same right.
On Tuesday April 23, 2013, France became the fourteenth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
This legislation fulfills an important campaign promise of the Socialist President Francois Hollande and comes after months of tension and protests from France's right winged parties and conservative citizens.
French conservatives and Hollande’s low approval ratings add to the chaos ensuing in the country with protesters around the western world claiming a “culture war” in regards to the marriage issue. Though opinion polls show that about two-thirds of France’s population support same-sex marriage, religious leaders from the Jewish, Muslim, and Catholic circles have expressed anger and violence over the social issue. These vocal leaders have influenced an accepted homophobia in France among their followers and other supporters, causing unthinkable brutality to the LGBT population.
Christian Science Monitor reports, “In France, there has been blood. Recently there were attacks in gay bars in Lille and Bordeaux. One man who was beaten up in Paris while walking with his partner posted a photo of himself on Facebook afterwards, battered and bruised, declaring it the ’Face of Homophobia.’"
As lawmakers finalized the vote, Yahoo! News reports “Police say legions of officers and a small battery of water cannon” were part of the extreme security measures at France’s National Assembly.
The Socialist majority in Parliament helped pushed this legislation through 331 to 225.