France has passed the final hurdle to make same-sex marriage law after the Constitutional Council ratified the legislation passed by parliament.
President Francois Hollande has promised to rapidly sign the bill as soon as possible.
But under the French system, new laws can be challenged if 60 assembly members or senators send it to the Constitutional Council for review.
Now that council has given its approval.
‘The law allowing same-sex marriage conforms with the constitution,’ the council said in a statement.
Joel Bedos, a Paris-based gay activist who is planning on getting married himself, said he was absolutely delighted.
Speaking to Gay Star News, he said: ‘It is a very good sign the Constitutional Council marked the International Day Against Homophobia with this decision, because inequality is homophobia.’
Describing it as the ‘final hurdle’ for gay marriage, Bedos said the whole story was always about more than that.
He said: ‘We will be continuing to demonstrate for the protection of children by same-sex couples, reproduction rights for lesbian couples.
‘We will continue to fight for trans rights, as there has been absolutely no progress for trans people whatsoever.
‘Then, we’re going to wait for the bill on family to be presented to parliament. There is likely going to be a massive fight on that.’
Bedos added: ‘If you already have gay marriage, make sure to cling onto it and hold onto it and keep talking to the rest of society and use it as positive integration.
‘If you don’t have it, fight for it. At the end of the day, it’s homophobia, and the time will come when you want equality. ‘
He said the French were lucky to have such a strong government behind the bill, as many others would have conceded or fallen under the pressure of the anti-gay opponents.
‘If we can help others, we are happy to reach out to other LGBT groups,’ Bedos said. ‘We have some stories to tell.’