TV & Radio
毎日新聞 2006年6月26日 10時42分 （最終更新時間 6月26日 10時56分）
France's Royal says supports gay marriage, adoption
Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:15 PM BST
PARIS (Reuters) - Segolene Royal, the Socialist frontrunner for France's 2007 presidential poll, has said gay couples should be allowed to marry and adopt children, laying out her position on what could become a divisive election issue.
Royal said France needed to do a lot more work to make sure homosexuals were treated fairly.
"It is essential that everybody has equal rights and dignities and the chance to express themselves freely," Royal told the gay magazine Tetu in an interview to be published on Wednesday.
The issue of gay marriage caused a stir in France two years ago when a maverick mayor performed the country's first gay wedding. The marriage was promptly declared illegal.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin's conservative government opposes gay marriages and does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children, but has given homosexual couples who form a civil union more financial rights.
Royal, who leads opinion surveys on who should be the Socialists' presidential candidate, said her party would make gay marriage legal if it was elected in 2007.
"Opening up marriage to same-sex couples is needed in the name of equality, visibility and respect," she said.
But Royal, who never married the father of her four children -- Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande -- said it was surprising that marriage, "a so-called 'bourgeois' institution", was at the heart of the controversy.
Party rivals have accused Royal of trying to win voters on the political right with tough proposals on law and order and by questioning the effects of the 35-hour work week, a Socialist touchstone reform.
During the debate about gay marriage two years ago, Royal expressed caution over homosexual couples adopting children, contrasting with the stand she took this week.
"Whether the parents are homosexual or heterosexual, adoption is above all a family project. From the moment a same-sex couple is recognised as a family, this family has the right to conceive of family projects," she told Tetu.
Conservative Family Minister Philippe Bas said on Monday he was strictly against gay couples marrying or adopting.
"I think today, the findings of modern psychology -- which can certainly develop -- indicate that it is better for a child to have a dad and a mum," Bas told Canal+ television.
A BVA survey this month showed that 6 out of 10 French people are in favour of gay marriages, but half of those questioned said they were against homosexual couples adopting children.
Same-sex couples can already marry in several countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.
Presidential front-runner Royal backs gay marriage
By Clémentine Gallot
Published: 24 June 2006
Ségolène Royal, the Socialist front-runner for next year's presidential race in France, has said she supports civil unions for homosexuals in a policy U-turn on the eve of today's Gay Pride march in Paris.
She told Têtu, the leading gay and lesbian magazine, that "opening up marriage to same-sex couples is needed in the name of equality, visibility and respect". She said that she also supported gay adoption.
According to a recent poll, 60 per cent of the French support gay marriage, which is legal in countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.
Ms Royal, who has four children with her partner, François Hollande, who heads the Socialist Party, argued that "whether the parents are homosexual or heterosexual, adoption is above all a family project".
Her comments, published before today's Gay Pride event, which is expected to draw half a million people, were welcomed by leaders of the French gay community. Her stand, described as a "conversion" by the daily newspaper Libération, took French public opinion by surprise. Ms Royal, 52, has issued some tough statements recently on law and order, and has often been criticised for her conservative positions. Only two years ago, she had been more reticent about the divisive issue of gay marriage.
But after the Socialist Party adopted a platform that includes gay marriage and adoption, Ms Royal had no choice but to stick to the party line.
Even though her approval rating keeps on rising, she still needs to fight to win the Socialist nomination in November for the presidential candidacy in a party where most leaders resent her for stealing the limelight.
Interview exclusive: Ségolène Royal se prononce pour le mariage des homos dans «Têtu»
Angus Reid Global Scan : Polls & Research
French Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage
June 23, 2006
(Angus Reid Global Scan) – Many adults in France are against allowing homosexual couples to legally marry, according to a poll by TNS-Sofres published in Le Nouvel Observateur. 51 per cent of respondents oppose same-sex marriage.
France has allowed civil unions for gay and lesbian couples since 2000. In June 2004, Begles mayor and Green party politician Noël Mamère conducted the country’s first ever same-sex wedding, claiming that there are no regulations in the country or the European Union (EU) that could thwart such a ceremony.
Interior minister Dominique de Villepin eventually suspended Mamère from his post as mayor for four weeks, citing a "grave misunderstanding of the duties of his office." At least 56 per cent of respondents in France express opposition to allowing a gay or lesbian couple to adopt children.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Canada, and at least 18 countries offer some form of legal recognition to same-sex unions. More than half of all respondents in France are against same-sex couples resorting to artificial insemination in order to have children.
Earlier this month, prospective presidential candidate Ségolène Royal of the Socialist Party (PS) voiced her support for same-sex marriage, saying, "It is essential that everybody has equal rights and dignities and the chance to express themselves freely. Opening up marriage to same-sex couples is needed in the name of equality, visibility and respect."
Do you favour or oppose each of the following?
A female couple resorting to artificial
insemination in order to have children
The adoption of children by a
female homosexual couple
The adoption of children by a
homosexual couple (any gender)
The adoption of children by a
male homosexual couple
A male couple resorting to the
artificial insemination of a woman
in order to have children
Source: TNS-Sofres / Le Nouvel Observateur
Methodology: Face-to-face interviews with 1,000 French adults, conducted from Jun. 7 to Jun. 9, 2006. No margin of error was provided.