International support for the freedom to marry grows in France and Ireland
July 02, 2012
In France and Ireland, support for the freedom to marry is at an all-time high - and recent declarations and movements from two of the countries' leaders bode well for the passage of marriage for same-sex couples.
On Friday, the administration of new President Francois Hollande, the Socialist leader who took office last month, released a statement announcing that a law granting the freedom to marry for all couples would be legalized soon. The statement from Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, reads:
The government has made it an objective for the next few months to work on implementing its campaign commitments on the fight against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
President Hollande campaigned on support for marriage for same-sex couples, and he appears to be committed to upholding that promise.
A similarly momentous statement came out of Ireland this weekend, when Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore, the country's Deputy Prime Minister, endorsed the freedom to marry, becoming the most senior member of the Irish government ever to do so. Gilmore, the leader of the Irish Labour Party, made an announcement at the end of Dublin's Pride festivities this weekend. He said:
I believe in gay marriage. The right of gay couples to marry is, quite simply, the civil rights issue of this generation, and, in my opinion, its time has come. ... I believe that in certain key areas, our laws are out of step wiht public opinion. I don't believe, for example, that it should ever be the role of the State to pass judgment on whom a person falls in love with, or whom they want to spend their life with.
The movement in France and Ireland comes just a month after Denmark passed the freedom to marry. Now, same-sex couples can marry nationwide in 11 countries - Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden - and three countries - Israel, Mexico, and Uruguay - recognize but do not perform marriages between same-sex couples.
All across the globe, people are continuing to realize that loving and committed couples deserve the protections that marriage affords - and the dignity that comes with having your relationship recognized by the federal government. As support continues to grow internationally, Freedom to Marry will continue working to grow the majority for marriage here in the United States and help more people, legislators, and other elected officials why marriage matters to same-sex couples.