Gay marriage bill wins support of French lawmakers
An Opponent to government plans to legalize same-sex marriage, adoption and medically assisted procreation for same-sex couples, holds a portrait of French President Francois Hollande on which is written " The marriage for everyone except me", during a demonstration, in Marseille, southern France, Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.(AP Photo / Claude Paris)
Published Saturday, February 2, 2013 3:37PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 2, 2013 10:19PM EST
PARIS - France's National Assembly has approved a key article of a controversial bill that would legalize gay marriage.
The measure, approved by a 249-to-97 vote Saturday, would drop the legal requirement that a marriage in France must be between two people of the opposite sex.
To become law, that measure must now be approved by France's Senate. That is expected to happen since President Francois Hollande favours the change.
However, the legislation also contains a measure that has been more controversial in the parliamentary debate, which began Tuesday. It would legalize gay adoption, and hundreds of thousands of supporters and opponents of the measure have held protests in Paris.
The parliamentary debate on the gay rights legislation is scheduled to be completed by Feb. 12.