France's Constitutional Council on
Friday approved a gay marriage bill passed by parliament on April 23.
“#BREAKING: France's constitutional
court clears gay marriage bill,” the AFP tweeted.
President Francois Hollande is expected
to sign the bill into law next week.
After lawmakers gave final approval to
the measure, conservative UMP deputies referred it to the Council,
which has the authority to strike it down.
Approval is a victory for Hollande, who
campaigned on the issue of marriage equality.
However, opponents are expected to
continue their loud protests. A demonstration in Paris is planned
for Sunday, May 26. A protest last month ahead of a final vote on
the bill turned violent, resulting in more than 100 arrests as
activists damaged cars and public property and attacked police
officers and two journalists. Police detained three protesters
carrying canisters of teargas.
The law, which also legalizes adoption
for gay couples, is expected to take effect sometime in June.
France becomes the 14th
nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, following the
recent additions of Uruguay
Zealand, and the 9th in Europe. A
recent court ruling has effectively legalized such unions in Brazil.