France legalises gay marriage
Controversial legislation allowing same sex marriage and adoption has been introduced in France. The decision comes after some of France’s biggest protests over the debate. The vote was passed by 321 votes to 225, as hundreds of protesters stood outside the National Assembly to hear the results.
Although protests surrounding the debate have largely been peaceful, there have been some clashes which have been blamed on the far-right wing. As a precautionary measure, thousands of police armed with water guns were deployed around parliament to deter any violent protests.
As president François Hollande’s flagship social reform policy, the vote was a landmark for the socialist government.
The leader of the movement against gay marriage, however, has warned that the fight is not over. Frigide Barjot, a comedian who uses her stage name, 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.”
The first weddings could take place in June, according to justice minister Christiane Taubira.
“We believe that 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,” she told the National Assembly.