France's President Francois Hollande on 17 May 2013 signed into law a controversial bill to legalise gay marriage. It makes France the ninth in Europe and 14th in the world to do so. The move was opposed by many conservatives and the Catholic Church in France. As of May 2013, thirteen countries (Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Norway, Spain, South Africa, Sweden), and several sub-national jurisdictions (parts of Mexico and the USA), allow same-sex couples to marry.
The Constitutional Council rejected a challenge by the right-wing opposition, clearing the way for Francois Hollande to sign the bill. The first gay wedding will be held 10 days after the bill's signing.
In fact, the ruling Socialist Party made the legislation their flagship social reform since being elected in 2012.
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