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Hollande faces backlash for retreating on family law reforms

Posted on Feb 04 2014 | IANS

Paris, Feb 4 : French President Francois Hollande has been accused of caving in to reactionaries after he shelved plans to change family law this spring.

Supporters of the reforms have denounced Hollande and his Socialist government as "political cowards", the Guardian reported. The criticism followed an announcement late Monday that the proposed bill would not be introduced this year as promised.

The new legislation included a string of measures widely viewed as positive and constructive, including giving step-parents a legal status, regulating custody and visitation rights.

It also included maintenance payments between divorcing couples, introducing mediation before divorce, making adoption easier, and allowing adopted children to trace their real parents.

Rightwing and ultra-conservative groups viewed the reforms as an attack on traditional values.

Demonstrations were staged Sunday in the cities of Paris and Lyon in "defence of the family" by protestors, opposing same-sex marriage which has been legal in France since last year.

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