18 May 2013

France votes gay marriage into law

8:38 pm on 18 May 2013

After months of heated political debate and street demonstrations, same-sex marriage and adoption has become legal in France.

President François Hollande signed the controversial bill a day after the Constitutional Council rejected a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition.

France follows New Zealand, which became the 13th country to legalise same-sex marriage last month.

The first gay marriages could be celebrated as early as June.

The anti-gay marriage lobby, backed by the Catholic Church and conservative opposition, argues the bill will undermine an essential building block of society.