24 Apr 2013

Same-sex marriage approved in France

5:36 am on 24 April 2013

The French parliament has approved a law allowing same-sex couples to marry and to adopt children.

The reform has been driven by President Francois Hollande and sparked street protests and a rise in homophobic attacks.

Mr Hollande's "marriage for all" law is the biggest social reform in France since mentor Francois Mitterrand abolished the death penalty in 1981.

Lawmakers on Tuesday passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against.

Gays greeted the news with fanfare, with some groups dubbing 23 April the "Day of Love". But opponents gathered outside parliament for a new demonstration.

Critics said Mr Hollande should focus on fixing the economy while opponents demanded a referendum.