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Legalization of same-sex marriage in France met with celebrations, protests

Etienne Laurent / Xinhua via Zuma Press

Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate after France's legislators approved a bill for same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. Lawmakers in the lower house National Assembly passed the bill by 331 votes for and 225 against.

PARIS (Reuters) - France became the 14th country to allow same-sex marriage on Tuesday after parliament approved a new law championed by President Francois Hollande, but it came at a political price amid violent street protests and a rise in homophobic attacks.

Hollande's "marriage for all" law is one of the biggest social reforms in France since his left-wing mentor and predecessor Francois Mitterrand abolished the death penalty in 1981, a move which also split opinion.

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Yoan Valat / EPA

Anti-gay marriage protesters set off fireworks during a demonstration in Paris, France, April 23.

Christophe Ena / AP

Demonstrators face riot police, Tuesday, April 23, in Paris, France.

Ian Langsdon / EPA

Unidentified protesters against same-sex marriage call with a banner for a referendum as they attempt to disrupt the final parliamentary vote in the French National Assembly to legalize gay marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt children, at the French National Assembly in Paris, France, April 23.