Legislation to extend full marriage rights to same-sex couples is on the political agenda in both France and the UK for 2013. See Harvey Morris, Gay Marriage Fight Intensifies in Britain and France, International Herald Tribune/NY Times, Dec. 12, 2012.
In Britain, this would add an option in addition to civil partnerships, which became possible under legislation enacted in 2004. The latest debates have focused on how the legalization would affect the Church of England. See Sam Jones, Church of England and Church in Wales protest at gay marriage ban, The Guardian 13 Dec. 2012, andGovernment’s gay marriage plan a mess, says Labour, The Guardian 14 Dec. 2012; Owen Bowcott and Rajeev Syal, David Cameron faces Tory Revolt over vote on same-sex weddings, The Guardian 7 December 2012. See also John F. Burns, British Plan for Gay Marriage Would Exclude Anglican Church, NY Times, Dec. 12, 2012.
In France, same-sex marriage would join le PACS, or pacte civil de solidarité (civil solidarity pact), the contract-based regime that has been available for same-sex and opposite-sex couples since legislation in 1999. See Angelique Chrisafis, François Hollande under fire as gay marriage bill divides France, The Guardian 14 Dec. 2012; Maia de la Baume and Steven Erlanger, French Cabinet Advances Gay Marriage Bill Despite Conservatives’ Opposition, NY Times Nov. 8, 2011.