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Hollande criticized for gay marriage bill

Dec. 15, 2012 at 11:32 AM

PARIS, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande is under fire for his proposals to legalize same-sex marriage, scheduled to be debated by lawmakers in January.

Religious groups and the conservatives have protested the Hollande's proposal, while equal-rights groups and liberal lawmakers have warned that his measures would be inadequate if they don't include language on gay parenting rights or medically assisted procreation, the British publication The Guardian reported Friday.

Socialists and gay rights activists said they plan to demonstrate Sunday to try to counter the opposition to gay marriage and adoption from the right and key figures in the Catholic church.

Hollande's proposal includes provisions legalizing same-sex marriage, as well as adoption for gay couples. However, activists said they are concerned because the measure would only grant same-sex couples the right to adopt if they were married, rather than in a civil partnership.

His proposed law also would not give automatic joint parenting rights to same-sex couples who had a child together, nor would it allow medically assisted procreation, which activists say create more inequities between same-sex and heterosexual couples, The Guardian said.

Elisabeth Ronzier, president of SOS Homophobie, called the proposal and pending debate historic because "it's the first time a French government is moving towards more equal rights for gay couples and families," The Guardian reported.

"But we're not celebrating yet because the proposed law still doesn't give complete equality," Ronzier said. "We want equal rights to medically assisted procreation. We want legal rights for co-parents -- that means full parental responsibility for people raising a child with their partner."

Worldwide, 11 countries have legalized same-sex marriage.

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