Gay and lesbian couples in France might be able to marry before the end of May after President Francois Hollande signed a gay marriage bill into law on Saturday.

Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by conservative UMP deputies.

“The law allowing same-sex marriage conforms with the constitution,” the council said in a statement released Friday.

In brief remarks after the legislation cleared its final hurdle, Hollande reaffirmed the importance of respecting France's laws.

“The law opens up new rights without sacrificing the rights of others. I think that over the next few months it will be accepted as a law promoting reconciliation and progress,” he said, adding that it was “now time to respect the law and the Republic.”

The legislation is expected to take effect in 10 days. But several lawmakers have said that the first ceremonies would take place in June.

Frigide Barjot, the actress-activists who led the opposition, refused to accept the outcome.

“An ordinary law can't change something that fundamental,” she said. “The French public must be consulted.”

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.

With Hollande's signature, France becomes the 14th nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, following the recent additions of Uruguay and New Zealand, and the 9th in Europe. Additionally, some states in Mexico and the United States have adopted similar laws. A recent court ruling has effectively legalized such unions in Brazil.