French parliament approves same-sex marriage

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      Félicitations are in order for France. After months of contentious debates and street protests that have drawn thousands to Paris, France's parliament has given new meaning to gay Paree by approving a same-sex marriage bill on Tuesday (April 23).

      The National Assembly voted 331 to 225 to adopt the bill in its second and final reading. The bill will allow gay marriages as well as adoption by gay couples.

      The bill must still be signed by President François Hollande. However, protestors have vowed to fight on and right-wing lawmakers have already filed a legal challenge with the constitutional council.

      If Hollande signs the law, France will be the 13th country to legalize gay marriage. New Zealand also legalized gay marriage on April 17 (and the first in the Asia-Pacific region).

      France is set to become the ninth European country to legalize same-sex marriage.