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France constitutional court approves same-sex marriage bill

France's Constitutional Council [official website, in French] on Friday approved [judgment, in French; press release, in French] a same-sex marriage bill [text, PDF, in French]. The legislation was approved by parliament [JURIST report] last month, but former president Nicolas Sarkozy's Union for a Popular Movement [party website, in French] party filed a legal challenge. The court rejected the challenge but did clarify that the right of same-sex couples to adopt does not establish [France24 report] a "right to a child." French President Francois Hollande [official website, in French], a supporter of the legislation, is expected to sign the bill into law next week.

France will become the latest country to join a growing trend toward legalizing same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder]. Earlier this week Brazil's National Council of Justice ruled that notaries public cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies, effectively legalizing same-sex marriage in Brazil [JURIST report]. Earlier in May same-sex marriage legislation was approved in the US states of Minnesota, Delaware and Rhode Island [JURIST reports]. Last month Ireland announced it would hold a referendum [JURIST report] on same-sex marriage. In March the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two same-sex marriage cases, with decisions expected next month.

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