The French Senate on Tuesday approved
the most significant article of a proposed gay marriage bill.
After more than 10 hours of debate,
senators voted 179 to 157 in favor of expanding marriage to include
gay and lesbian couples, the AFP
Unless the entire bill is rejected by
the Senate, this vote is final.
France's lower house of parliament, the
National Assembly, approved the measure in February.
The Socialist government of Francois
Hollande and its coalition supporters backed the proposal.
Opposition came mainly from the conservative UMP Party.
Hollande campaigned on the pledge to
The debate on whether France should
join the 11 nations which have legalized gay nuptials has largely
taken place on the streets of Paris, where hundreds of thousands of
people have marched in protests and counter-protests.
According to Al
Jazeera, about 280 amendments have been introduced for
debate, and a final vote is not expected until Friday or Saturday.
If the bill is approved, France would
become the 12th and most influential country so far to
legalize marriage equality.
parliament expected to approve gay marriage bill Wednesday.)