What is the Big Idea?
During his presidential campaign, François Hollande voiced his support for gay marriage and adoption for LGBT couples. He said he'd pursue the issue in 2013 if he won.
Now that he has been inaugurated, he is being watched closely by both gay rights activists and traditional Catholic groups who oppose same sex marriage.
What is the Significance?
U.S. President Obama added momentum to the debate when he announced his support for gay marriage last week. And with sixty three percent of the French population in favor of same-sex marriage rights, could France be the next country to legalize same sex marriage?
"Following Barack Obama's surprise public support for gay marriage, incoming French President François Hollande may be poised to push through legislation to give same-sex couples in France the right for the first time to marry," according to Le Monde.
Hollande's stance will not go unchallenged. About 1,500 Catholics close to the Institut Civitas religious group, gathered in central Paris, declaring same-sex marriage "deeply anti-Christian, anti-family and anti-national." While they are a small fringe group, their opinion is shared by many believers.
Since 2001, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden have allowed same-sex couples to marry. Same-sex marriage has been a longstanding point of conflict in France, though the moment may be ripe for change.
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