Country becomes 14th to allow gay couples to marry
France’s parliament has approved a law to allow gay marriage.
The 14th country to do so, the bill also means same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt children.
Despite a divisive debate, as well as some heavy-handed protests from far-right opponents, it passed by 321 votes to 225.
Opinion polls suggested a small majority of French people favour gay marriage, but there is less support for adoption by same-sex couples.
As the result was announced in Paris’s National Assembly building, hundreds of opponents rallied outside.
Despite her disappointment the leader of an anti-same-sex marriage group said they would keep fighting.
Frigide Barjot, a socialite and comedian who operates under a pseudonym, told her supporters: ‘We are going to show them that this is not over. I solemnly ask the president to hold a referendum on the subject.’
French President Francois Hollande made the law one of his most pressing social reforms. Once the new law is cleared by the constitutional council, he is expected to add his signature to the bill.
Opponents, including the opposition UMP party, are planning to challenge the council to reject the law through convincing it that marriage is a constituional issue.
However, analysts say it is unlikely the council will block the law.