France’s constitutional authority rejects challenge to marriage equality law

France’s constitutional authority rejects challenge to marriage equality law

PARIS — France’s constitutional council, the country’s highest constitutional authority, on Friday rejected a challenge by conservative lawmakers to the country’s new marriage equality law, saying the law is constitutional.

The ruling means France could see its first gay marriages by the end of May.

France’s parliament passed the law legalizing same-sex marriage last month after a wrenching national debate and protests that flooded the streets of Paris.

Opponents led by the conservative UMP party immediately challenged the law in France’s Constitutional Council, which rejected their motion Friday.

The gay marriage law must now be published in the official journal.

President Francois Hollande, who made legalizing gay marriage one of his campaign pledges last year, has promised to see the law published as soon as possible.

France will become the ninth country in Europe to allow same sex marriage.

Also in April, lawmakers in Uruguay and New Zealand voted to legalize same-sex marriage, bringing to 14 the number of nations around the world to legalize marriage equality

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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