France has passed legislation establishing marriage rights for same-sex couples after a 331-to-225 vote in the left-controlled Parliament. The law also allows for same-sex couples to adopt children.
“It’s a generous law, and a law of equality,” an ecstatic Christiane Taubira, Socialist Justice Minister and author of the bill, stated in Parliament after the vote. “We believe the first weddings will be beautiful and that they’ll bring a breeze of joy, and that those who are opposed to them today will surely be confounded when they are overcome with the happiness of the newlyweds and the families.”
However, the announcement provoked a series of violent protests and homophobic attacks by traditionalists. The protests drew Roman Catholics from France’s country areas and received the support of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious leaders, as well as the conservative political opposition.
French public opinion polls have showed that the majority support gay marriage, however, gay adoption has seen a more even split.
François Hollande promised to deliver legislation for gay marriage in his presidential campaign.
France is the fourteenth country in the world and the ninth in Europe to allow same-sex couples to marry.
Some conservative politicians have claimed that they will try to overturn the law if they achieve a parliamentary majority again.