They only approved Article 1. It is the crucial article changing the
definition of marriage but there are plenty more (on adoption, etc).
The fact Article 1 was approved by a relatively comfortable margin is a good
sign because there were worries the overall bill could fail in the Senate (
which would not have mattered since the Assemblee Nationale always has the
last word regardles) as the Left has a very very narrow majority in the
Senate and there were some wobbly Senators (but more supportive right-wing
Senators than the near-unanimous right-wing opposition in the lower chamber).
Anyway what happens now? The bill will continue to be examined and many more
articles approved and then the overall bill will go to a vote.
Either there are no significant amendments approved at all and then the
identical bills will have been approved by both chambers and will go to
Hollande for final ratification. Or, as is more likely, a handful of
amendments will be voted and it will need to be discussed a second time at
the Assemblee Nationale sometimes in May-June so that both bills are
identical. The time has already been set aside on the Assemblee's calendar
so they do expect to need a second reading. Again the right wing will slow-
walk it and behave hysterically but there is no doubt - and has never been
any doubt - about the final result in the French institutional system.
Whether the Senate approves it or not is even irrelevant (although it'd be
an embarassment). Hollande has a clear majority in the lower chamber and
that's all they need.
In any case, the vote on Article 1 is symbolically good news and yet another
step but nothing major.
French same-sex weddings should be starting in the summer.
Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2013/04/frances-senate-approves-marriage-equality-bill-in-179-157-vote.html#ixzz2Q1SU5ZKF