The French parliament has approved a historic law allowing same-sex couples to marry and to adopt children.
Self-congratulatory applause erupted in the National Assembly where President Francois Hollande’s Socialists have an absolute majority. The bill passed by 331 votes to 225 against.
Some in the public gallery had to be forcibly removed after making clear their opposition to the law.
The bill has triggered often violent street protests and sparked a rise in homophobic attacks. Many people now want the issue to be subject to a referendum.
But Bruno Leroux, head of the Socialist group does not expect the agreed measures to be changed by France’s constitutional court.
“I’m absolutely sure about the final draft. It’s now up to the Constitutional court to decide but I’m relaxed about it,” he said.
Conservative opposition MP Laurent Wauquiez told euronews he is not so sure however:
“Just because the government used all its energy to force through this measure doesn’t mean that protests are going to stop.
“These are deep-rooted concerns about the family’s role in our society, artificial insemination, and surrogacy,” he said.
The opposition has appealed to the Constitutional Court in the hope that it will reverse or modify the law, a decision it will have to make within a month.
France is now the 14th country in the world to allow same-sex couples to wed and the ninth in Europe.