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Originally published Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 8:47 AM

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French gay marriage bill presented to Parliament

The French government has presented a divisive plan to legalize gay marriage and adoption to Parliament for debate.

The Associated Press

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PARIS —

The French government has presented a divisive plan to legalize gay marriage and adoption to Parliament for debate.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told the national assembly Tuesday that the bill constitutes an "act of equality. ... Finally, marriage will be a universal institution."

"We have never underestimated the importance of this reform," Taubira said of the plan that's divided the Catholic-majority country.

President Francois Hollande's "marriage for everyone" pledge has seen hundreds of thousands of supporters and opponents take to the Paris streets in separate demonstrations in the past two weeks.

Concessions have already been made to opponents, with plans to replace "father" and "mother" with "parent 1" and "parent 2" in official documents being ditched for straight couples.

The bill is set to be debated over two weeks.

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