France became the 14th country with marriage equality when a bill passed the National Assembly following weeks of violent demonstrations and attacks on gay couples by conservatives. Civil unions have been legal in France since 1999.
President Francois Hollande said he will sign the bill and marriages should begin in June. He campaigned on a marriage-equality pledge and the issue didn’t become controversial until after he came into office.
Last week, New Zealand legalized same-sex marriage. Earlier in April, Uruguay did the same.
In the U.S., a marriage equality bill passed the House Administration Committee in Delaware and now moves to the House floor. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill today.
Delaware already has civil unions and a state law, but not a constitutional amendment, prohibiting same-sex marriage. The bill would repeal the law and upgrade civil unions to equal marriages.
Rhode Island has been debating marriage equality ever since it passed a civil union law that is unpopular with both sides.
For the first time, an entire party delegation is supporting marriage equality. All Republican members of the Rhode Island Senate will vote for the marriage equality bill, according to the Associated Press.
The latest versions of the bill include more protections for religious organizations but fewer protections for businesses that want to discriminate against same-sex couples marrying, according to the Providence Journal.
Finally, Nevada’s legislature is debating repeal of its constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. During the debate, Sen. Kelvin Atkinson came out as the second gay member of the Senate. USA Today reports that if the bill passes this year, it must be voted on again by the legislature in 2015. Then it goes to the voters the following year.
Same-sex marriage bills have also been introduced this year in Illinois and Minnesota.
In Great Britain, the debate over marriage equality continues. Because the Church of England is a state religion, the church is involved in the debate in a way in which it is not in other European countries. A new proposal would allow same-sex civil ceremonies but would ban the Churches of England and Wales from performing those ceremonies. It would also allow other religious groups to opt out.
Other religious groups would be able to opt in, according to the BBC. Among those in favor of marriage equality are the Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jews. Liberal Judaism in Great Britain is equivalent to Reform Judaism in North America, which has recognized same-sex marriage for 15 years.
In Europe, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Spain and Sweden already have marriage equality.
No word on when France and Great Britain will vote on their pending marriage equality legislation.
Terry Thompson here in our office told me about this ad and then I found it online and wanted to share it.
It’s an ad from France for McDonald’s, and it features a teenage boy sitting at a table in a McDonald’s, talking to someone on the phone. He says “I miss you, too,” and “I was just looking at us together in our class photo” (or something like that).
Then he sees his dad coming with the food and hangs up. Dad sees the class photo and comments about how the son looks just like he did at that age, and that he was a real ladies’ man in his day. Then, he says, “Too bad you go to an all-boys school.”
It ends with the teen smiling at his dad and the tag line, “Come as you are.”
Too bad that American advertisements can’t be so open and accepting, and too bad that Steve Hall at AdRants.com uses the term “sexual preference” instead of “sexual orientation.”