France’s new president François Hollande has said he would work to legalize gay marriage in the country and now it looks like that plan is moving forward. On Saturday, his prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said the new administration would introduce a bill in October to allow same-sex marriage.
France does recognize civil contracts for cohabitating couples, regardless of gender, but it does not include all of the rights that marriage would bestow on same-sex couples. For example, the bill would include adoption rights for same-sex partners.
Gay marriage and domestic partnership laws vary by country in the European Union, much as they do by state in the United States.
While several countries, including Belgium, Spain, Norway, and the Netherlands offer gay marriage, there are 11 countries in the European Union that do not recognize any same-sex partnerships, marriage, or otherwise, The New York Times reported. Others, such as Great Britain, recognize same-sex unions and the domestic partnership rights of those couples but not gay marriage.