May 29 will mark a historic day in France, as the first legal same-sex marriage takes place in Montpellier.
This is a huge event, not only historically but also in light of recent incidents, which include multiple riots and vocal anti-gay protestors pleading for a stop to the new equality laws.
On the last weekend before the new law goes into effect, an estimated 150,000 people rallied in a protest against same-sex equality that turned violent; outraged at President François Hollande for signing the bill, the crowd chanted for him to resign.
Vincent Autin, 40, and his fiancé Bruno, 29, who declined to give his last name, are the first happy couple scheduled to tie the knot. They have been together for over five years and say that they plan to start a family soon after their ceremony.
“The law will allow that, but we’re very aware that we won’t have the child we both want right away. Mentalities have to change. And of course the path to adoption is long, even for straight people,” Autin told the AFP.
Montpellier is known as the “French San Francisco,” both due to its large gay community and because its residents are much more liberal than in surrounding areas.
“We will make this wedding an occasion for everyone. It will be public, open to all activists, to heads of French and international gay lobby groups, to the press,” Autin said to the AFP.
Pro-equality activists are hoping for a peaceful and joyous ceremony.