French lawmakers have officially legalized same-sex marriage with a 331-225 vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday. The decision is reached after months of debate and violent protests throughout the country.
Justice minister, Christiane Taubira, said the first couples could be walking down the aisles as early as June, according to AP.
Opponents of the legislation have protested against same-sex marriage as well as the legalization of adoption by same-sex couples, saying France is not ready for such unions or families.
Violent protests and attacks against LGBT people have occurred, including marches which have brought tens of thousands of people to the streets of Paris, with one such march resulting in tear gas being released after protesters attempted to jump a barricade.
French politicians had been receiving threatening letters, in envelopes containing gun powder and the message “Our methods are more radical and direct than the protests, you wanted war, you have it. Allowing marriage for all would be the same as destroying all marriage.”
Thousands of police prepared themselves ahead of the vote, expecting protests around the National Assembly building and along the Seine River.
Anti-equality supports have said they will hold another protest on May 26 to demand a repeal.
France is the 14th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, following New Zealand’s vote just last week.