France has become the 14th country to legalize same-sex marriage after a series of public demonstrations and protests lead to heightened security around todays vote.
The country’s socialist lead Majority Assembly voted 331-225. According to the Associated Press, fire hoses and riot police were on hand to handle any kind of backlash that could have followed the announcement.
Lawmakers have suggested same-sex weddings could begin as early as june. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said “We believe that 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.”
France had seen a wave of protest and violenceover the last few weeks as conservative activists spoke out against legalizing same-sex marriage and same-parent adoptions. A massive protest against same-sex marriage took place in January of this year, hundreds of thousands of people were said to have attended. Evangelical Catholics have been called the root of the opposition. “The French are tolerant, but they are deeply attached to the family and the defense of children,” said Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the National Council of French Evangelicals, which urged its members to join the march.”
The country’s senate voted to pass same-sex marriage earlier this month after 10 hours of debate on the floor. President Francois Hollande had run on a pro-equality platform, supporting both same-sex marriage and adoption.