France could very well become the next nation to legalize same-sex marriage, but lawmakers have reportedly gone a step further with a proposal that could ban the use of the words "mother" and "father" from all government documents.
The Telegraph cites the draft law as specifying that "marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender," and also states that all references to "mothers and fathers" in the nation's civil code will be swapped for the non-gender-specific "parents." In addition, the law would also give equal adoption rights to same-sex couples, the publication notes.
France’s Justice Minister Christiane Taubira is quoted as telling French newspaper La Croix, "Who is to say that a heterosexual couple will bring a child up better than a homosexual couple, that they will guarantee the best conditions for the child's development? What is certain is that the interest of the child is a major preoccupation for the government."
Not surprisingly, the move has incensed France's Catholic population, who last month revived a centuries-old custom with an updated national prayer that included references to both same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms that are currently being planned by the government. Last week, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin warned followers that legalized incest and polygamy could potentially follow if same-sex couples earn the right to wed.
"Gay marriage would herald a complete breakdown in society," he is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying during a radio interview. "This could have innumerable consequences. Afterward they will want to create couples with three or four members. And after that, perhaps one day the taboo of incest will fall."
The draft law will be reportedly be presented to President Francois Hollande's cabinet for approval on Oct. 31. Same-sex and heterosexual civil unions, which offer limited benefits for couples, have been legal in France since 1999, Reuters reports.
Clarification: Language has been added throughout to clarify that the ban of gendered language applies only to government documents.