The French prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told a French television station this morning a change in legislation to allow gay couples to marry and adopt children will be done ‘quickly’ and that a draft is ‘ready’.

According to French news website Yagg.com, M Ayrault told radio station RMC and TV station BFMTV this morning that the measures would be implemented soon.

It was not clear whether the prime minister meant a draft bill had been drawn up, but the site reported remarks made by Gilles Bon-Maury, the president of the Socialists’ Homosexualités et Socialisme faction that such a bill could be presented to Parliament for discussion “before the autumn”.

M Ayrault became prime minister of France earlier this month after Francois Hollande won the presidential election.

While gay and straight French couples can currently enter Civil Solidarity Pacts, PACS, though only straight couples can marry.

Though affording many legal protections, a PACS does not give couples the right to joint adoption or artificial insemination.

case at the European Court of Human Rights this year determined that the system was not discriminatory to a lesbian couple as straight couples are also eligible for the union.

In line with previous decisions, the court did not determine that there was a Europe-wide right to marriage equality for gay couples, leaving the issue to the French authorities.

M Hollande’s presidential election manifesto pledged however: “I will open the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual couples.”