Two women became France's first gay couple to marry on Saturday, the AFP reported.

Artistic director Stephanie Nicot, 59, and Elise, 27, married in Nancy, a city located near the eastern border of France.

The women were able to circumvent the country's ban on gay marriage because Stephanie is still, legally, a man.

“It's a symbol for millions of gays and lesbians who would like to have the same rights,” Nicot told the news agency.

Gay and lesbian couples are recognized in France with a form of civil unions, first introduced in 1999 and expanded in 2006.

Stephanie, formerly Stephane, had sex reassignment surgery but legally remain a man because she has refused to file paperwork to alter her gender on the population register.

About 2,000 members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community joined the couple in a march through the city after the ceremony.

France's gay marriage ban was upheld by its constitutional court in January. The court rebuffed a challenge filed by a lesbian couple together 15 years and raising four children. The court said the ban did not violate the country's constitution, but added that it is up to the country's parliament to make laws. A recent poll shows a majority (58%) of respondents favor the legalization of gay marriage.