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Gay-Marriage Bill Approved by French Senate After Heated Debate

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April 12 (Bloomberg) -- The French Senate approved a bill allowing same-sex marriages and the adoption of children by gay couples, paving the way for it to become law later this year.

The bill that provoked large protests in Paris was passed in the upper house of the French parliament after a week of what the Le Monde newspaper characterized as “intense and virulent” debate. It will now go back to the National Assembly, which voted in favor on Feb. 12, before becoming law.

The gay-marriage bill has proved controversial in France, a predominantly Catholic country, and led to protests by hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on Jan. 13 and March 24. Although the rally last month was called to challenge the so-called “marriage-for-all” legislation, some demonstrators also carried placards showing their anger had widened to economic issues.

Opinion polls show that a majority of voters favor giving same-sex couples the right to marry, though they oppose giving such couples rights to adoption or medically assisted procreation.

Pollster BVA found that 58 percent of voters favor gay marriage, while 53 percent oppose giving gay couples the right to adopt, according to a survey published in January. CSA, another polling company, found that 52 percent favor gay marriage and the same proportion oppose adoption by same-sex couples.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vidya Root in Paris at vroot@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Foxwell at sfoxwell@bloomberg.net

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