It was always going to be more than just a wedding ceremony.
The first gay couple to marry in France since the controversial same-sex marriage bill recently became law have said their vows.
The ceremony in the southern city of Montpellier could not be called intimate. The family and friends of the couple, Vincent Autin et Bruno Boileau, were joined by a horde of reporters and photographers.
The government’s spokeswoman was also on hand.
The ceremony, led by the Socialist major of Montpellier, was broadcast live on French TV.
Extra police were drafted in following fears that demonstrators from the extreme right might turn up.
“To all those who have fought for many years to bring France into the modern world, it is a fight that has been won,” Vincent told reporters. “It is a fight that has been well-fought.”
The mothers of the couple shared in their joy.
“If they decide to have a child, then this child will be very happy to live with two great fathers.” said one. “They make a good couple. They will be great parents because they are great people.”
Opinion polls suggest up to 60% of French people support gay marriage, but only about 50% approve of gay adoption.
France is now the 14th country to legalise gay marriage after New Zealand last month.
This was not an intimate ceremony, said euronews’ correspondent Francois Chignac. The question now is whether this union between two people of the same sex will put an end to the surrounding controversy, or whether it will further fan the flames.