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Tag Archives: council
PARIS – France will see its first gay weddings within days, after French President Francois Hollande signed a law Saturday authorizing marriage and adoption by same-sex couples and ending months of nationwide protests and wrenching debate.
Hollande’s office said he signed the bill Saturday morning, a day after the constitutional Council struck down a challenge to the law and ruled it in line with France’s constitution.
Hollande, a Socialist, had made legalizing gay marriage one of his campaign pledges last year. While polls for years have shown majority support for gay marriage in France, adoption by same-sex couples is more controversial.
The parliamentary debate exposed a deep conservatism and attachment to traditional families in France’s rural core that is often eclipsed by and at odds with libertine Paris.
But mostly, it tapped into deep discontent with the Socialist government, largely over Hollande’s handling of the economy. Months of anti-gay marriage protests became a flashpoint for frustrations with Hollande, and occasionally degenerated into violence.
In addition, gay rights groups reported a rise in attacks on homosexuals as the parliamentary debate was under way. Protest organizers distanced themselves from the trouble-makers.
The opposition isn’t ready to give up. It plans a protest May 26 that aims to parlay the success of the anti-gay marriage movement into a broader anti-Hollande one. Among those expected to attend is Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of the opposition UMP party, riven by divisions and struggling for direction since Nicolas Sarkozy lost the presidency last year.
Hollande warned that he wouldn’t accept any disruption of France’s first gay marriages.
One couple signed up Saturday to tie the knot on May 29 in the gay-friendly southern French city of Montpellier.
“We’re very happy that today we can finally talk of love after all the talk of legislation and political battles,” one of the future newlyweds, Vincent Autin, said on France-Info radio.
French President Francois Hollande will sign a gay marriage and adoption bill into law Saturday, after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition.
Hollande, trying to turn the page on months of bitter oppo sition to the measures, said it was “time to respect the law and the Republic”.
The Constitutional Council approved the bill on Friday, International Day Against Homophobia.
The French court ruling clears the way for France to become the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage. French deputies approved the bill in parliament last month after a several days of often stormy debate.
The main right-wing opposition UMP party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy immediately challenged it on constitutional grounds.
But Friday’s statement by the Constitutional Council said same-sex marriage “did not run contrary to any constitutional principles,” and that it did not infringe on “basic rights or liberties or national sovereignty”.
However, the council said, gay adoption did not automatically mean the “right to a child”: the “interest of the child” would be the overriding factor in such cases, it ruled.
Reacting to the ruling Friday, UMP party chief Jean-Francois Cope told TF1 television: “It is a decision that I regret, but that I respect.”
Hollande, as he announced his decision to sign the bill into law as early as Saturday, warned that he would brook no resistance.
“I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full, and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages,” he said.
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Men in masks: A protest in Paris on Friday against legalising same-sex marriage. Photo: AFP
French President Francois Hollande signed a gay marriage and adoption bill into law on Saturday after it was cleared by the constitutional council, which turned down a challenge by the right-wing opposition.
Mr Hollande, who had made ”marriage for all” a key election pledge, made the announcement saying it was ”now time to respect the law and the Republic” after the top French institution cleared the bill on Friday.
The first gay wedding can be held 10 days after the bill was signed.
France is now the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage.
Parliament approved the bill on April 23 but it was immediately challenged on constitutional grounds by the main right-wing opposition UMP party. The UMP had opposed what it said was a fast-track voting procedure and argued that gay marriage represented such a fundamental change that more than a law was required.
A Parisian socialite who goes by the name of Frigide Barjot and is the public face of the movement opposing gay marriage said the council’s go-ahead was a ”provocation”.
Gay rights groups hailed the decision as a watershed. It came as a European Union report said 66 per cent of Europe’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were still afraid to show their sexuality in public and 26 per cent had been victims of physical or verbal attacks in the past five years.
”Fear, isolation and discrimination are everyday phenomena for the LGBT community in Europe,” Morten Kjaerum, director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, wrote in the report, which was released on Friday for the International Day Against Homophobia.
Pendle’s link with the West Bank is approved
4:44pm Wednesday 8th May 2013 in News By Tyrone Marshall, Reporter
PLANS to twin Pendle with a town in the West Bank in Palestine have now been made official.
Pendles mayor, Coun Asjad Mahmood, accepted the invitation to become president of the Pendle Palestine Twinning Group (PPTG) and signed the letter of confirmation to approve the link between Pendle and Beit Leed.
The proposal to formalise a twinning arrangement with a town Pendle has had cultural exchanges with in the past was first made towards the end of last year, as a way of showing solidarity with the victims on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Pendle councillors voted in favour of the twinning last December, but not before complaints about whether the council was the right forum to debate the issue and concerns about how the move would be funded.
Richard MacSween, chairman of the PPTG, said: Its great that the mayor has agreed to do this and shows Pendle Council is serious about the twinning.
Our group is doing all the administrative work involved and there is no cost whatsoever to Pendle Council or the taxpayer.
In fact, any money we receive is voluntarily donated by the public and Im glad to say many people have been very happy to contribute.
This is an ambitious project for us but will show what twinning can achieve.
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JERUSALEM, May 9 (UPI) — Plans to build 296 homes in the West Bank settlement of Beit El passed the initial approval stage, officials said.
The plans were approved by the Higher Planning Council of Judea and Samaria Wednesday. Those opposed to the construction can register objections for the next 60 days, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
Palestinian negotiators accused Israel of hampering U.S. efforts to restart peace talks, Israel Radio said.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon will be required to sign off on the plans before construction can begin.
The report came just days after Army Radio reported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had recently ordered a freeze on tenders for West Bank settlement construction.
The newspaper said Netanyahu promised to build the new homes in Beit El last June as part of a deal reached with 33 families who agreed to evacuate homes in the Ulpana outpost on the outskirts of the settlement.
Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, the organization that monitors settlement building, told the paper the freezing of tenders for West Bank settlement construction has had a limited impact on settlement activity. Ofran said much of the construction is private and does not require tenders.
Yiagel DelMonti, spokesman of the Council for Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said he didn’t understand why the plans caused such uproar. The project had already been announced and was just waiting approval, he said.
Jefferson Parish is again seeking state money to subsidize the West Bank major crimes task force, a multi-agency outfit that touts an 88 percent conviction rate. The Parish Council on Wednesday asked the Legislature to continue funding the group.
The parish annually puts up $90,000 for the task force but this year budgeted $180,000 because the 2012 appropriation was not used. The state has been providing $500,000 a year, and without it, the council resolution says, the group “will be forced to disband.”
State Rep. Bryan Adams, R-Terrytown, is expected to sponsor Jefferson’s request in the House budget bill.
The task force includes representatives of the Jefferson and Plaquemines sheriffs’ offices and the Gretna, New Orleans and Westwego police departments. Their cooperation “makes it hard for a criminal to commit a crime in one jurisdiction and then run and hide in another,” said Oscar Pipkins, president of the West Jefferson Civic Coalition. “There’s no price that can be put on preventing the loss of life caused by the perpetuation of unsolved, violent crime.”
The task force has been politically and legally controversial, however. Last fall, Parish President John Young and some council members clashed after the administration proposed no Jefferson money for the task force in 2013.
Earlier in 2012, a lawyer representing a drug dealer busted by the unit produced evidence suggesting that members of the task force had taken two safes and $3,500 from the dealer without writing up the seizures in its records. The Orleans Parish district attorney’s office dropped its case against the dealer after the evidence was produced.
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Santa Fe Council takes up gay marriage
Gay marriage will be the focus at Wednesday night's city council meeting in Santa Fe.
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Bisbee, AZ – Before Vote on Gay Marriage, Doug Stanhope speaks at City Council
On April 2, 2013 the Bisbee Arizona City Council held a vote to approve Civil Unions for gay couples. The meeting opened with an invocation by a local Pastor…