French President Francois Hollande on
Friday said he would sign a gay marriage bill into law possibly as
early as Saturday.
In brief remarks on Friday after the
legislation cleared the nation's Constitutional Council, Hollande
reaffirmed the importance of respecting France's laws.
The law will take effect 10 days after
Hollande signs it into law.
After lawmakers gave final approval to
the bill, which also legalizes adoption for gay couples, on April 23,
conservative UMP deputies challenged it on constitutional grounds,
referring it to the Council.
“The law allowing same-sex marriage
conforms with the constitution,” the council said in a statement.
With Hollande's signature, France will
become 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.
Opponents have staged large
demonstrations throughout the debate and show no signs of stopping.
A demonstration in Paris is planned for Sunday, May 26, two days
before the law is now set to take effect.
Their boisterous demands for the
government to abandon its plans have been blamed for a spike in
homophobic acts, both physical and verbal.
“We expected opposition, but not to
that extent,” said Dominique Boren, vice president of the
Association of Gay and Lesbian Parents. “We've heard things about
homosexuals we hadn't heard in over 30 years.”