(Blogmensgo, gay blog of March 6, 2016) The French government gazette of March 4, 2016 officially confirms an initiative previously announced by the President: The Family Ministry (“ministère de la famille”) will be called Ministry of Families (“ministère des familles”) from now on. This may look like a small change but it reflects an important change because the ministry’s responsibilities will now officially apply to all kinds of families including those with two mothers or fathers.
In an interview, French president François Hollande said (English translation):
“And if I wanted marriage for all people, then this also means that everyone should have the possibility to form a family, regardless of the persons’ sex. This is why I will rename the ‘Family Ministry’ to ‘Ministry for Families’ to make clear that it applies to all kinds of families, including patchwork families, single parents and same-sex couples.”
The current minister, Ms Laurence Rossignol will stay at the head of the ministry, regardless of the name change.
By this name change, the French President has adapted the official designation of the ministry to the fact that already today, more than 20% of the families in France do not reflect the classic definition of family, i.e. a man, a woman and children.
President Hollande underlines this fact:
“It would be unprogressive to think that there is only one unique model for families.”
Conservative voices immediately criticized this change.
Moreover, the French government has announced to soon include the years that a same-sex couple has spent in a registered partnership before concluding marriage into the calculation of widows’ and orphans’ retirement benefits.