PARIS, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, adopted on Tuesday in its second and final reading a controversial new law that allows same-sex marriages and legalizes children adoption by gay couples.
The bill, which sparked mass protests throughout the nation and forced the authorities to boost security measures ahead of the voting, was passed by 321 votes to 225 after a harsh debate. The bill had earlier cleared the upper house of the French parliament, the Senate.
With the passing of the bill, France becomes the ninth European nation and the 14th country in the world to legalize “marriage for all.”
France’s socialist President Francois Hollande, who has made the gay marriage law a key item on his agenda of social reforms, is expected to sign the new legislation as soon as it clears any hurdles in the constitutional council.
It may take up to a month for the council to consider the bill and a challenge submitted by opposition, but experts believe the new law is unlikely to be rejected.
National polls place support of gay marriage among the French citizens at 55-60 percent, while the public opinion on adoption of children by same-sex couples is split more evenly.