Viva la revolution! As of today, France is now the 14th country in the world to legalize gay marriage.
The French parliament, led by President Francois Hollande, voted today to legalize marriage for homosexuals as well as the adoption of children by gay couples.
President Hollande’s Socialist party has a distinctive majority, and handily passed the bill with a tally of 331 votes for and 225 against.
Sadly, this flagship reform was coupled by the country’s eruption in a series of sometimes violent protests, as well as a rash of homophobic attacks. There have been several tense stand-offs between protesters and police in Paris, and on Saturday, a 24-year-old gay man was beaten in the city of Nice.
Perhaps the oddest of these protest groups call themselves Les Hommen. They wear brightly colored pants, are often shirtless, and sometimes wear masks and fake gags. They are led by a comedian who goes by the name Frigide Barjot.
The bold “marriage for all” law is the biggest social reform since France outlawed the death penalty, another action that divided the nation.
France’s decision comes on the heels of other countries — New Zealand and Uruguay, most recently — passing laws allowing gay couples to wed. It remains to be seen whether more countries will join this movement toward equality.