23/04/13 04:16 CET
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The final vote on a bill supporting marriage for all couples regardless of gender or sexual orientation is due in the French parliament later today.
It will mean France will become the 14th nation to
legalise gay marriage – but its a move which has split the country despite polls showing a majority of the French favour equal rights for same sex couples.
Thousands of protesters opposed to the bill on moral or religious grounds have held numerous rallies many of which have ended in clashes with police.
Some say such a social change should have been voted on in a referendum and appear to be using the issue to attack an increasingly unpopular government.
However, Francois Hollande is sticking by his election promise but has brought the vote forward in the hope of avoiding further unrest by circumventing a big rally set for late April.
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