A draft bill to legalize gay marriage and adoption was approved by France's Socialist government on Wednesday despite stiff opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and others.
"This is an important step towards the equality of rights," said Minister of Family Affairs Dominique Bertinnoti.
AdvertisementPresident Francois Hollande, who had made the issue a key part of his electoral platform, said it was an advance "for all of society".
Bertinnoti rejected criticism that the move would "destroy" the family, saying: "On the contrary it is a legal protection."
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