France’s National Assembly has voted for the last time to make same-sex marriage and adoption legal today (23 April).
The ‘Marriage for All’ bill has divided the nation, with several large protests being held for and against equality.
In recent weeks, homophobic attacks have spiked and some legislators have received threats.
The ‘Marriage for All’ bill will now be sent to President FranÃ§ois Hollande, who has 15 days to sign it into law.
Anti-gay marriage opponents, who have criticized the French government for pushing the issue too firmly and too quickly, have one last way to stop it.
The center-right opposition party UMP has vowed to appeal to the Constitutional Council (CC).
If the UMP can gather 60 senators or deputies, the CC can annul or veto the bill if it rules it unconstitutional.
It will likely only delay Hollande signing marriage equality into law by a month at most.
Dominique Bertinotti, French minister for family, has said: ‘Even in the event of an appeal to the Constitutional Council, we can consider that [marriage equality] will become law in late June.
‘Starting this summer, gay couples can marry.’
On his blog, gay rights advocate Nicolas Chinadret said: ‘Tonight’s vote is natural, if overdue, step forward for France.
‘We must of course rejoice in it but it is very sad and somewhat shameful that the country of human rights had to be the one with the most virulent opposition to the move.
‘The violence both physical and verbal that we’ve witnessed have created real wounds that will take much time and effort to be healed.’