France Legalizes Gay Marriage

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French lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize gay marriage. This comes after months of heavy debate and protests that flooded the streets of Paris.

Opponents of the law say France is not ready to legalize adoption for same-sex couples.

And polls show the country is sharply divided on the issue.

Gay men have recently been savagely attacked in Paris, Lille, Bordeaux, and Nice. And some fear this is only the beginning. Backers of the "Marriage for All" claim the proposal's enemies have created an intolerable atmosphere.

But despite the opposition many supporters like Christine Taubira, socialist justice minister and author of the bill, are rejoicing. They say "it's a generous law and a law of equality."

"We believe the first weddings will be beautiful and that they'll bring a breeze of joy and that those who are opposed to them today will surely be confounded when they are overcome with the happiness of the newlyweds and the families," she said.

France becomes the 14th country to pass a law allowing gay marriage, following New Zealand last week.

Authorities in Paris are bracing for possible violence in the wake of the decision.

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