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France legalizes same-sex marriage after divisive protests


 

French President Francois Hollande. (Alexander Widding/Polaris)

France has become the latest country to pass a law permitting same-sex marriage.

Legislators voted in favour of a bill Tuesday that would permit same-sex couples to marry and would also allow them the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples.

The bill passed with a vote of 331 in favour and 225 opposed and it followed “impassioned speeches” by those on both sides of the issue, reports CNN

Prior to the vote, opponents held mass protests, that BBC News calls some of the largest seen in the country in recent years. Supporters of the bill accused opponents of encouraging violent attacks on gay people and a government official was sent gunpowder in the mail, with instructions to halt the final vote.

Police tightened security outside the National Assembly ahead of the vote.

NPR reports that both celebrations and more protests are expected to follow the vote. “Opposition in France to gay marriage has radicalized over the past month as far right extremists have joined the protests,” correspondent Eleanor Beardsley told NPR.

This vote makes France the 14th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

Last week, New Zealand passed a law legalizing same-sex marriage, which prompted observers in the House of Representatives to burst into song. The video of the song went viral.


 
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