French Parliament debating gay marriage

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Justice_Minister_Christiane_Taubira

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira.

The French government has presented a plan to legalize gay marriage and adoption to Parliament for debate.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told the national assembly this week that the bill constitutes an “act of equality. ... Finally, marriage will be a universal institution.”

“We have never underestimated the importance of this reform,” Taubira said of the plan that’s divided the Catholic-majority country.

President Francois Hollande’s “marriage for everyone” pledge has seen hundreds of thousands of supporters and opponents take to the Paris streets in separate demonstrations in the past two weeks.

The bill is set to be debated over two weeks.