March 28, 2012 ( – French President Nicolas Sarkozy is beginning to compromise his opposition to homosexual “marriage” in an attempt to catch up with his socialist rival in this year’s elections, Francois Hollande.

Trailing Hollande in polls over a second-round vote by between 8 and 16 percentage points, Sarkozy is offering to create a “marriage” ceremony that would be conducted by the government as part of the beginning of a Pact of Civil Solidarity (PACS), a loose legal arrangement open to homosexuals in France.

“I am ready to propose—it would be a matter of a decree—that the marriage ceremony, for a homosexual PACS, be made a right,” said Sarkozy in an interview with the French magazine Tetu, adding that “the ceremony would permit a true social acceptance” of homosexual unions.

He has also ceded the notion that cohabiting homosexuals constitute a “family.”

“A family can be one father-one mother, two fathers or two mothers. I think that it’s necessary to leave the situation as it is, in a somewhat unclear area, that we are not obligated to legislate everything, to vote for laws for everything,” Sarkozy said in the same interview.

Hollande, in contrast, told Tetu that he intends to create homosexual “marriage” by early 2013, a position endorsed by a majority of French, according to numerous opinion polls.

“I know that the first months of the parliamentary session will be essentially committed to elements of financial planning, so I prefer to be honest: if we want a good debate, it’s better to start at the beginning of 2013 and to finish by spring,” Hollande told Tetu in an interview published in the same edition as Sarkozy’s.

Although Sarkozy’s proposal would give the appearance of “marriage” to homosexual unions, they would not enjoy the same rights as marriage. PACS are weak contractual arrangements, offering ease of termination, with minimal resdidual obligations. Moreover, they do not afford the right of adopting children, something Sarkozy continues to oppose.