Questions and answers about gay marriage, adoption

November 5, 2012 - 12:32 PM
France Gay Marriage

FILE - In this file photo taken on Tuesday Oct. 23, 2012, a man dressed as a bird performs during an anti-gay marriage demonstration in Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. A plan to legalize same-sex marriage and allow gay couples to adopt was a liberal cornerstone of French President Francois Hollande's election manifesto earlier this year. It looked like a shoo-in, supported by a majority of the French, and an easy way to break with his conservative predecessor. But that was then, Now, as the Socialist government prepares to unveil its draft "marriage for everyone" law Wednesday, polls show wavering support for the idea and for the president amid increasingly vocal opposition in this traditionally Catholic country. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

France's government is introducing a bill this week that would let homosexual couples marry and adopt children. Such a law would make France the 12th country to legalize gay marriage, and the biggest country — both in population and economy — to do so.

Q: WHAT COUNTRIES HAVE LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE?

A: The Netherlands (2001); Belgium (2003); Spain and Canada (2005); South Africa (2006); Norway (2008); Sweden (2009); Argentina, Iceland, Portugal (2010); Denmark (2012).

Q: HAVE OTHER PLACES LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE?

A: In the United States, a law prevents the federal government from recognizing gay marriage, but six states have legalized it — Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont — as have the District of Columbia and two Native American tribal jurisdictions. Mexico City also recognizes gay marriage, although Mexico as a whole doesn't.

Q: WHAT ABOUT ADOPTION FOR GAY COUPLES?

A: Gay couples can legally adopt in all of the countries that have legalized gay marriage, plus Brazil and the United Kingdom.