MPs approve adoption rights for gay couples
2 December 2005
BRUSSELS — The Belgian Parliament approved legislation early on Friday morning granting gay couples the right to adopt children.
The vote — at 12.15am on Friday — followed a tense debate in the Parliament. However, the final tally of 77 votes for and 62 opposed (with seven abstentions) was a bigger majority than expected.
Every Socialist MP voted in favour of the proposal, except for Mohammed Boukourna, who abstained despite repeated attempts by party colleagues to convince him otherwise.
Among the Liberal MPs, there were more votes for the legislation than earlier expected. Just two VLD MPs abstained. Some 18 Movement Reform Liberals voted against the proposal, five backed the bill and two abstained.
The entire Democrat Humanist CDH party was opposed to gay adoption rights, as was the extreme-right Flemish Interest. Among the Flemish Christian Democrat CD&V, there were two abstentions as expected.
The four green Ecolo MPs voted in favour as did the New Flemish Alliance NV-A MP, but the only Front National MP voted the other way. There were four MPs not present for the vote.
The legislation has not been officially passed, but will now head to the Senate for further debate.
In the meantime, the gay and lesbian lobby group Holebifederatie was exceptionally pleased with the passing of the legislation.
“A lot of gay couples wanting children are now very pleased,” federation spokeswoman Mieke Stessens said.
Stessens also said the federation will continue lobbying to ensure the legislation is not delayed in the Senate.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news