French schools are about to replace the words "mother" and "father" with "parent 1" and "parent 2" under legislation passed earlier this week, according to The Daily Telegraph.
According to the amendment, the new gender-neutral terms will replace traditional gender-specific wording in paperwork.
"This amendment aims to root in law children's family diversity in administrative forms submitted in school", said Valérie Petit, MP for the majority party REM of President Emmanuel Macron. According to Petit, today's administrative forms do not take same-sex families and recently legalised gay marriage into account.
"We have families who find themselves faced with tick boxes stuck in rather old-fashioned social and family models. For us, this article is a measurement of social equality", she said.
Conservative lawmakers have condemned the legislation, reminding that the majority of families remain traditional.
"When I hear people say this is an old-fashioned model, I would remind people that today among unions celebrated, civil or marital, some 95 percent are man-woman couples", Conservative MP Xavier Breton said, according to The Telegraph.
Conservative MP Fabien Di Filippo condemned the bill as an example of a "frightening ideology, which in the name of limitless egalitarianism promotes removing points of reference, including those regarding the family".
Interestingly, conservatives were not the only ones grilling the new measure. Even liberal organisations, such as AFDH, the French association supporting same sex parents, pointed out that the proposed language is not perfect, because numbers 1 and 2 imply that one parent is somehow more important than the other.
"Who is ‘parent number 1' and who is ‘parent number 2'?" asked AFDH president Alexandre Urwicz, adding that the legislation need further reworking.
The idea of replacing "mother" and "father" with numbered "parents" first appeared during debates for a 2013 law legalising same-sex marriage. After that, individual cities adopted the language, with Paris famously joining the club last year.