French Lower House Okays Same-Sex Marriage
France's National Assembly has approved a law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.
After days of intense debate, the bill was passed by 329 votes to 229, BBC informs. The law must now win final approval in the Senate.
The Senate, which is dominated by the Socialists and their allies, is expected to back the measure.
The 'Marriage for All' bill was backed by President Francois Hollande's Socialists and other left-wing MPs, but it was opposed by many in the opposition conservative UMP and provoked months of mass protests and counter-protests.
If the bill passes in the Senate, France will join 11 other nations, including Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and South Africa, where same-sex marriage is legal. Nine US states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage.