France has finally acted on its motto, 'Liberty, equality and Fraternity' when its President Francois Hollande legalised the law allowing gay marriage amid bitter protests on Saturday.
With the 'marriage for all' act signed in to law, France became the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage following New Zealand which was the first Asia-Pacific country to do so. Netheralands was the first country to accept gay marriages along with adoption by gay couples.
Hollande's office informed that he signed the bill on Saturday morning, a day after the Constitutional Council knocked down a law and ruled in accord with France's constitution.
"Marriage for all" was a major assurance of his presidential election campaign last year. Remarking that it was "time to respect the law and the republic", Hollande warned that he would not accept any kind of resistance to the same.
"I will ensure that the law applies across the whole territory, in full, and I will not accept any disruption of these marriages", the president underscored.
Even though the Constitutional Council passed the bill on the International Day Against Homophobia, a major protest rally has been called forth by the opposition on May 26 in Paris.
In one of the protests that took place in Central Paris, hundreds of protesters gathered demanding the president's resignation. One police officer got injured after some inflammable liquid was thrown on his face.
Earlier, a group of bare-chested men with white masks calling themselves Hommen, a riposte to femmen (bare chested feminist protesters), staged a protest against same-sex marriages.
Meanwhile, the race has begun for the title of France's first official couple. The mayor of south city of Montpellier will officiate the first gay marriage in the municipality on 29 May. As the event can take place no sooner than that day as per French law, a marriage application must be filed at City Hall 10 days prior to the ceremony.
This is expected to be the country's first official gay marriage. After filling applications and completing legal proceedings, couples can hold a religious ceremony. This is because all marriages in France are civil ceremonies which take place in town halls.