France OKs Gay Marriage

Opponents expected to mount legal challenge, protests

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 23, 2013 11:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – A week after New Zealand musically ushered in gay marriage, France has become planet Earth's 14th nation to legalize same-sex unions. The measure passed today, 331-225, in the National Assembly following weeks of massive and crippling protests against it, reports the BBC, and President Francois Hollande is set to sign it. The legislation, which also gives same-sex couples the right to adopt, is expected to face a legal challenge from opponents that include the Catholic Church, adds CNN.

A small majority of the French people favor gay marriage, though the issue has proven to be a hot button; thousands of police are at the ready as renewed protests were expected, notes the AP. France's justice minister says that the first weddings could take place as soon as June.

Demonstrators march during a rally to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2013.
Demonstrators march during a rally to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Demonstrators march during a rally to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2013.
Demonstrators march during a rally to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Demonstrators shout as they march during a rally to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption in Paris, Friday, April 19, 2013.
Demonstrators shout as they march during a rally to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption in Paris, Friday, April 19, 2013.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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