France legalizes same-sex marriage and adoption


In an historic vote, French lawmakers voted 331-225 to support a landmark law legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption Tuesday.

The debate over the law divided France and even as the vote was occurring people were protesting.

The law was a key election pledge of French President Francois Hollande's socialists and comes at a difficult time for the embattled leader whose popularity is falling.

Opposition to the law brought together a number of conservative and religious parties in recent months, but outside the parliament champagne corks popped when supporters heard the results of the vote.

Thousands of police mobilized ahead of the vote, preparing for dueling protests around the National Assembly building and along the Seine River. At least one spectator was ejected from the gallery.

France is the 14th country to legalize gay marriage. The vote comes a week after New Zealand allowed same-sex couples to wed, with little controversy.

The law still has to be implemented with experts expecting the first weddings in early summer.