French Senate starts gay marriage debate amid protests

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The French Senate took its first look on Thursday at President Francois Hollande's gay marriage bill, which has passed in the lower house but divided society as opponents clamored for a referendum, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The bill, which gives homosexual couples the right to marry and adopt children, was designed to be Hollande's first historic social reform, on par with former Socialist President Francois Mitterrand's abolition of the death penalty in 1981.