Google Hangout’s Social Experiment Helps Push Same-Sex Marriage in France

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Google and Ogilvy Paris would like to take partial credit for France recently passing a law legalizing same-sex marriage. Their contribution, the “first social same-sex marriage” initiative for gay couples allowed partners to get married via Google Hangout, which was created with the help of non-profit Tous Unis Pour L’Egalite (United for Equality).

The team produced a series of  “social marriages” through a video-conferencing event presided over by a mayor in Belgium—not to mention a unique showcase of Google Hangouts’ feature that lets up to 10 computers connect on a single call—providing witnesses for the joyous event and participation by family and friends not in attendance.[more]

“These first social same-sex weddings gave a new venue for thousands of French gay couples to be heard and to speak out about their rights,” wrote Google in a blog post. “We helped the debate progress in France by giving a voice to the many supporters of marriage equality.”

The move makes France the ninth country in Europe and the 14th globally to legalize same-sex marriage along with Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay and New Zealand, while in the US, Washington D.C. and 12 states have legalized same-sex marriage.

But the debate continues as tens of thousands of anti-gay marriage protestors took to the streets in Paris demonstrating against French President Francois Hollande’s adoption of the law in Paris. Hollande and his ruling Socialist party are a good match for Google Hangouts, as both support social change. The first same-sex marriage is due to be held in Montpellier, France Wednesday.

South of Paris, the 66th Cannes Film Festival gave the top honor, the Palm d’Or, to Blue is the Warmest Color: The Life of Adele, a French film about a lesbian romance.

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