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President Hollande to meet opponents of same-sex marriage

Author: Admin
Date: 24th January 2013

French President François Hollande has agreed to receive the lay leaders of the massive protest against same-sex marriage held earlier this month.

Announcing the decision on Monday, his office said the meeting would still not alter his plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption by June.

After the march against same-sex marriage on January 13th , which attracted 800,000 people and was the largest demonstration in Paris since the early 80s, France's bishops said that the Government could not ignore such a significant expression of popular opposition to this fundamental reform.

However, a parliamentary commission reviewing the draft last week approved the article concerning marriage, rejecting several amendments proposed by the conservative opposition to hold a referendum and upgrade current civil unions with more legal rights.

An opinion poll said 45 per cent of the French favour a referendum on the issue.

Meanwhile, the leader of New Zealand's Conservative Party has said that the law there should continue to recognise the distinctive nature of marriage.  

Colin Craig, backed pro-family groups who called at a select committee hearing in Auckland on Tuesday for a royal commission and a referendum on any change to the definition of marriage.

He said the debate about a proposed bill to define marriage as the union of any two people regardless of gender was about the value the country placed on its history and traditions.

“It asks whether the history and tradition of marriage as an institution uniting a man and a woman for the benefit of children and society deserves our protection,” he said.

“Changes like this should not be made lightly. I am not convinced that there is a compelling reason for change.

“We are saying that marriage between a man and a woman is recognised. We are saying that a relationship between a man and a man, for example, goes down the path of a civil union.”

He was speaking after the presentation of a petition opposing the redefinition of marriage was presented to the select committee.

The petition, which was launched last June, has drawn more than 70,000 signatures.

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