Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Nigeria mosque blast: Scores die in attack during prayers in Kano

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarko Bites Back: Ex-President Determined to Reclaim UMP Leadership

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

No Deal: Iran Nuclear Talks End Without Agreement

Read more

FASHION

"Cloakroom Vestiaire Obligatoire" a tender and hypnotic performance by Tilda Swinton and Olivier Saillard.

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Learning the language of love

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Calls for probe into 1998 murder of journalist

Read more

FOCUS

Is this the end of Hong Kong's 'Umbrella Movement'?

Read more

#THE 51%

France marks 40th anniversary of abortion laws

Read more

#TECH 24

Virtual insanity? Artist to 'experience life' through Oculus Rift headset for 28 days

Read more

France

Marriage promise floats over Paris Gay Pride parade

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-01

Most participants in the Gay Pride parade in Paris Saturday were buoyed by the promise of France’s new government to legalise same-sex marriage, though some remained sceptical, pointing out that it would take more than a law to change mindsets.

AFP - Always colourful and raucous, the annual Gay Pride parade in Paris on Saturday was further buoyed by the promise of France's new Socialist government to legalise gay marriage and adoption rights.

"This is a special parade because it is the first time we have a government, a president, a parliament who are in favour of progress," said Nicolas Gougain, spokesman for the the gay rights group Inter-LGBT.

Organisers were expecting record levels of attendance from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transexual) community at the parade heading from Montparnasse to the iconic Place de la Bastille.

Symbolically, French Minister for Families Dominique Bertinotti turned out to see the floats set off.

"I go everywhere where the future of the family is at stake," she said, adding that "every bit of social progress benefits society as a whole".

Bertinotti said she was "confident" the law "would be passed in 2013".

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said ahead of the march on Friday that "the right to marriage and adoption for all would be put in place" during President Francois Hollande's five-year mandate, but did not specify the date.

The crowd, however, remained sceptical.

"We need to wait and see if these are not just empty promises," said Ludovic, a 25-year-old nurse, wearing a gold wig.

"But it would be good if it does happen so that people who want to get married can."

"We are sceptical about announcements made at Gay Pride," said one woman accompanied by her female partner, both sporting rainbow-coloured hats and celebrating their first Pride.

Many considered being given equal status to heterosexuals in the eyes of the law more important that actually getting married.

"It's equality that counts," said French actress and director Zabou Breitman, co-hosting the parade with fellow actor Charles Berling. "They have the choice to say no to marriage."

A number of European nations allow gay marriage, but not France, where only married couples and not civil union partners can adopt.

European nations including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Britain allow gay adoption.

In neighbouring Belgium, gay marriage was legalised in 2003 and adoption in 2005.

But it takes a while for society to change, said Chille Deman, president of the Belgian Gay Pride.

"Laws are extremely important in changing mentalities but change won't come just from that."

Over 80 groups paraded behind the Paris Pride banner that said "2012, equality doesn't wait".

Last year's parade in the French capital drew 36,000 supporters according to police, but organisers claimed the figure was "over half a million".

Date created : 2012-06-30

  • FRANCE

    France to legalise gay marriage in 2013

    Read more

  • US POLITICS

    Reactions to Obama’s gay marriage endorsement

    Read more

  • FRANCE - ISLAM

    One Muslim's fight to marry Islam with homosexuality

    Read more

COMMENT(S)