France's Parliament approved a measure [press release, in French] Tuesday to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. The bill [materials, in French] was passed in the National Assembly [official website, in French] by a 331 to 225 margin following last week's approval [JURIST report] by the Senate [official website, in French]. The debate over the bill has sparked a wave of violent protests throughout the country. The bill must still be cleared by that nation's Constitutional Council before reaching the desk of President Francois Hollande [official websites, in French] who has stated he would sign the measure into law.
This law will make France the fourteenth country to legalize same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder]. The issue continues to be controversial both in the US and internationally. Last week, Ireland announced it would hold a referendum [JURIST report] on same-sex marriage. Earlier in the month, Uruguay's legislature passed [JURIST report] a same-sex marriage bill that is expected to be signed by the president. Last month the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor [JURIST report], the second of two cases the court heard that week on same-sex marriage. In that argument, the court considered the validity of Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) [text; JURIST news archive], a federal law that recognizes only opposite-sex marriages for federal benefits purposes, despite state law on the issue.