France Legalizes Gay Marriage

France passed a new law recognizing same-sex marriage on Tuesday, becoming the 14th nation worldwide to grant gay couples the same legal rights afforded straight ones. The National Assembly's lower house — where President Francois Hollande’s Socialists have an absolute majority — passed the new bill by a vote of 331 to 225, following months of increasingly violent street protests and a spike in homophobic hate crimes. In addition to letting gay couples marry, the new law lets them adopt children — one of the bill's most controversial components. As the National Assembly voted on the bill Tuesday, two of the bill's opponents were thrown out of the chamber for trying to unfurl a banner, while thousands of police officers armed with water cannon were outside the building in the event of more violent protests, BBC News reported.

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