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The Prime Minister made the announcement in a speech to parliament, outlining a five-year plan for the ruling Socialists.
PARIS, France — Gay couples in France will be allowed to get married and adopt children by early next year.
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Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault made the announcement in a speech to parliament, outlining a five-year plan for the ruling Socialists, and making good on an election promise by President Francois Hollande, Agence France Presse reported.
Ayrault told the National Assembly: "In the first half of 2013, the right to marriage and adoption will be open to all couples, without discrimination … Our society is evolving, lifestyles and mentalities are changing. The government will respond to that."
The move comes days after Paris staged its annual Gay Pride parade on the Place de la Bastille, which was attended by the French Minister for Families, Dominique Bertinotti.
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Under current rules, only married, heterosexual couples can adopt in France, the BBC reported, adding that several European countries – including Germany, Sweden and Britain – already allow gay couples to adopt children.
According to a recent IFOP survey, gays in France make up 6.5 percent of the electorate, while a separate survey showed 63 percent of French people support gay marriage, and 56 percent are in favour of gay adoption.