Hollande gives up on controversial family law

Opponents of gay marriage cheer, stop to IVF for lesbians

04 February, 10:06

    A man waves a flag depicting a family as people demonstrate during the Manif pour Tous (Protest for All) in Paris, France A man waves a flag depicting a family as people demonstrate during the Manif pour Tous (Protest for All) in Paris, France

    (by Luana De Micco) (ANSAmed) - PARIS - A draft family law has been postponed indefinitely. The official reason cited is an "excessively tight agenda" but the U-turn of the French government is a "victory" for all opponents of President Francois Hollande's family policies. And in particular for Manif pour Tous (Protest for All), the association which has promoted over the past few months demonstrations against same-sex marriage and which promoted recently protests against assisted fertility treatments for lesbian couples and surrogate motherhood.

    "Work to prepare the text will continue", the government said, but the draft law will not be presented in 2014. It should instead have been discussed by the Council of ministers in April and then debated in Parliament in the second half of the year.

    Meanwhile the government called on the national ethics committee to examine the draft measure. The committee will announce results after European elections. "It is a victory because the draft law went against the interest of children and family", said the president of Manif pour Tous, Ludovine de la Rochere. Tens of thousands of people had taken part in a demonstration Sunday called by the conservative movement. Many families, pensioners, and religious demonstrators, including Muslims, participated in the event.

    Manif por Tous received the ironic "congratulations" of far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchin. 'The left is repudiated', said the leader of Front de Gauche, calling for "elections inflicting on government lists severe punishment".

    One of the reform's main measures provided for the formal recognition of step-fathers and step-mothers. But the key issue concerned the potential extension of the right to assisted fertility treatments to lesbian couples, a measure (like surrogate motherhood) which was actually not included in the draft law. But the issue is promoted by Family Minister Dominique Bertinotti and part of the Socialists and strongly divides the majority. The rift was recognized on Monday morning by Interior Minister Manuel Valls who, in order to stifle the controversy, announced that the government would have rejected any potential amendment on the two controversial issues.


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