France’s Senate has voted to legalize same-sex marriage and adoptions by gay couples, putting the bill on track to become law by summer.
Both houses of parliament will now take up a second reading to consider minor Senate changes to the bill passed in February by the National Assembly. It will then be sent to President FranÃ§ois Hollande to sign into law.
On 10 April, around 5,000 people came together to protest against homophobic violence in Paris, which has escalated due to the widespread protests for and against marriage equality and adoptions for gay couples.
The anti-gay group Manif Pour Tous has announced it will stage another massive rally in a last-ditch effort to demand the bill’s withdrawal and call for a national referendum on 26 May.
In Europe, marriage equality is legal in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.