French lawmakers in the National Assembly are expected on Tuesday to vote on a gay marriage bill.

The vote comes 10 days after the chamber approved the bill's most critical article. Deputies voted 249-97 in favor of expanding marriage to include gay and lesbian couples. They have since considered thousands of amendments to the bill's text, most of them filed by opponents in the conservative UMP Party.

President Francois Hollande campaigned on the marriage reform and his coalition appears prepared to back him.

Religious groups, most notably the Roman Catholic Church, have organized against passage of the bill, sending hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to protest.

France currently recognizes gay couples with PACS (pacte civil de solidarite), a form of civil union which offers many but not all of the rights of marriage.

Gay rights activists have also lined the streets of Paris to call on lawmakers to approve the reform.

The French gay rights group Inter-LGBT said the proposed law “would be a major advance for our country in terms of equality of rights.”

Britain is also debating whether to legalize marriage equality.