The ruling French Socialist government dropped medically assisted reproduction for lesbian couples, from the country’s upcoming bill to legalise marriage equality.

Socialists in parliament were perceived to had done so in order to attempt to reduce religious opposition to the upcoming ‘marriage for all’ bill, reports UPI. 

A recent poll suggested that 60% of the French population were in support of marriage equality, and 46% of the population were in favour of providing reproductive assistance to lesbian couples who want children.

Some Socialists sad the party had a history of backing down on issues such as assisted reproduction, in the face of religious opposition, especially from the Catholic Church.

“I observe that every time the left is in power the Catholic hierarchy hits the streets,” Jean-Christophe Camadelis, a member of the National Assembly, said on Tuesday.

In early November, French President Francois Hollande’s government approved a bill to legalise equal marriage and allow gay couples to adopt.

In late December thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Paris, in support of the government’s decision. 

The President had previously conceded that the religious opponents of his equal marriage plans were proving to be “tough” to deal with.

Despite some opposition to the bill, which was brought in by President Hollande’s Socialist government, the party holds a strong majority, and the legislation is expected to pass.

The government is set to consider the bill later this month, and both supporters and those opposed to the legislation are set to demonstrate later in January.

The French Government today suggested that the social networking company Twitter should be fighting against homophobic, anti-semitic and racist tweets that potentially break its laws on hate speech.