Liberté, égalité, fraternité! French President François Hollande has fulfilled his campaign promise and signed a bill today that made France the 14th nation to legalize equal marriage, reports France 24.
Hollande acted a day after the Constitutional Council threw out a legal challenge by the right-wing opposition, which had been the last obstacle to passing the bill into law. The legislation also legalises gay adoption. French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, who steered the legislation through parliament, has said the first gay marriages could be celebrated as early as June.
The ruling comes after months of controversy and protests both for and against the bill that saw thousands taking to the streets and sporadic outbreaks of violence.
The protests have continued into the weekend, reports AFP.
Late on Friday, between 200 and 300 protesters gathered in central Paris to denounce the ruling backing the bill and calling on Hollande to resign. One police officer was injured after a flammable liquid was thrown in his face. Earlier, a group of bare-chested men wearing white masks staged their own protest against gay marriage on one of the bridges over the Seine. They call themselves the "Hommen"—a riposte to the bare-breasted feminist protesters known as the "Femmen".
Opponents have vowed to continue their campaign and have called for a massive anti-gay demonstration in Paris on May 26. A racist poster for the demonstration has gone viral across French social media networks. The poster depicts the French Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira as King Kong. Taubira is the highest ranking Black cabinet official ever in French government. She emerged as President François Hollande’s point person on the marriage debate.
France became the 14th nation to legalize equal marriage nationwide on April 23. It joins Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Portugal, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay. Brazil, Mexico and the United States allow equal marriage in certain states. A legal ruling earlier this week could mandate marriage equality across Brazil.
Via the BBC, check out a fresh new map of marriage equality across the globe AFTER THE JUMP ...