Within the last hour, the French National Assembly has (2 Feburary) adopted by 249 for and 97 against the first article of the new law allowing gay marriage.
French members of parliament (known as deputies) have approved by an overwhelming majority, article 1 of the bill, the most important, that marriage is contracted by two people of the same or opposite sex.
Socialist deputies, environmentalists, radical left and the Left Front have voted for the article.
The center-right main opposition party’s - UMP deputies - voted against, with the exception of Franck Riester and Benoist Apparu who voted in favor of gay marriage.
After the vote National Assembly deputies rose up, cheered and clapped with joy for having the article passed.
In addition deputies also scrapped an amendment proposed by the right wing that could have mayors who object to gay marriage an option to opt out.
All French mayors will thus be obliged, by law, to conduct same-sex marriage.
The various articles of the bill have to debated article by article in a voting process that is expected to last for several days.
Then the bill will be put to the vote in the French Senate and signed by the French president.
With luck, France may legalize gay marriage before Valentine’s Day.
Watch the historic moment here: