TWO YEARS ago this week, France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex weddings, when - following 136 hours of heated debate - 331 MPs voted for marriage for all, against 225 who opposed the law.
Protests followed the passing of the law on April 23, 2013, which made France, at the time, the most populous country in the world to allow same-sex marriages. The law also allowed gay couples to apply to adopt a child.
Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau became the first same-sex couple to get married in May 2013. By December 2014, another 17,500 same-sex couples had tied the knot, according to France’s national statistics body Insee.
Last year, same-sex marriages accounted for 4% of all unions, Insee said. In Paris, 13% of all marriages in 2014 were between same-sex couples.
More men are getting married than women, figures show. A total 54% of same-sex marriages in 2014 were between men, down from 59% in 2013. Insee said that 60% of same-sex couples in France, whether married or not, are men.
Insee’s figures also reveal the average age of same-sex couples saying “Oui, je veux” is 50 for men and 43 for women. In comparison, the average age for a heterosexual couple to get married is 32 for men and 30 for women, Insee said.
While gay marriages were celebrated in 6,000 towns and cities between May 2013 and December 2014, nearly a quarter of them took place in cities of more than 200,000 inhabitants. Only 9% of heterosexual marriages in France took place in cities of this size, Insee said.
Figures for the number of adoption applications made by same-sex couples are more difficult to find, however. The Department of Justice has said that it is difficult to put a figure on the number because “the statistics do not distinguish between adoptive couples”.
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