MPs in the lower house of the French parliament have passed a law to legalise same-sex marriage and gay adoption.
Despite opposition from the Catholic Church, Muslim leaders and other right-wing groups, the French government has been determined to pass the gay marriage bill, known as “Marriage for All”.
On Tuesday, with the backing of President FranÃ§ois Hollande’s Socialist Party, the bill was approved with 329 votes in favour and 229 against.
The legislation will next go the Senate where it is likely to also be approved.
Under current law, same-sex couples in France can enter into civil unions, known as ‘pacte civil de solidaritÃ©’ or PACS, but not marriage.
A recent poll found that 63 percent of French people are in favour of gay marriage rights, although only 49 percent said that they support allowing gay couples to adopt.
The last few months have seen mass protests for and against the bill in the streets of Paris.