BY ROB SALERNO - France's Socialists won a historic victory in the presidential race Sunday, May 6, with their candidate François Hollande beating out incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy with just under 52 percent of the vote.
The vote is also a major victory for the country's gay rights movement, as the Socialists -- and Hollande in particular -- have generally been supportive of same-sex marriage and adoption.
Gay Star News reports that on Hollande's campaign website -- which has since been replaced entirely with a big picture of him saying "Merci" -- he wrote that "Freedom is the ability to let two people in love, regardless of their sexual orientation to unite. Equality is to allow any couple to use the same device without legal discrimination." (Liberté and égalité are, along with fraternité, part of the French motto.)
France's parliament rejected a same-sex marriage law last year, so in order to get the law passed, the Socialists will have to win big again in parliamentary elections scheduled for June.
In other news, US Vice-President Joe Biden came out strongly in favour of same-sex marriage equality in America, although the Obama campaign says that this is not inconsistent with Obama's "evolving" position on gay marriage and that the president believes same-sex marriages legally performed in individual states should be recognized equally by the federal government.
Biden credited the growing acceptance of gay issues to the show Will & Grace, which prompted this response from Sean Hayes, the (recently) out actor who played the (incredibly) out character Jack McFarlane on the show:
"On behalf of everyone who worked on Will & Grace, we thank Vice-President Biden for his comments regarding our show, as well as his
support for equality for gay Americans and everyone in the LGBT
Tomorrow, voters in North Carolina will decide on a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage and all forms of domestic partnership that are not heterosexual marriage.