Belgium's PM 'proud' of gay-marriage record

14th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said Monday he was "proud" of his country's "modernity" with nearly a decade of homosexual marriage, a day after a massive protest on the issue in France.

"I am proud of our country's modernity, where all couples have the right to marry," Di Rupo, himself gay, wrote on Twitter.

Back in December, he had spoken of a "conservatism and absolutely unimaginable ignorance" in France on this issue.

Hundreds of thousands marched in Paris on Sunday against plans by Socialist President Francois Hollande to introduce the right for homosexuals to marry.

Belgium in 2003 became the second country in the world to legalise gay marriage, after the Netherlands, with around 1,000 same-sex marriages celebrated each year since.

Gay couples in Belgium won the right to adopt children in 2006 and also have recourse to medically-assisted pregnancy.

Di Rupo's sexuality first came to light in Belgium in 1996, when he was accused of sexually abusing a minor.

The Socialist politician was cleared completely but keeps his companion out of the limelight when on duty while his sexuality is simply not an issue in Belgian public life or the media.

© 2013 AFP

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