France is poised to become the latest nation to legalize same-sex marriage after its Parliament passed a bill that also legalizes adoptions by same-sex couples.
President Francois Hollande is expected to sign the bill quickly.
Authorities are bracing for the reaction from opponents. Correspondent Eleanor Beardsley tells our Newscast Desk that "supporters are planning a celebratory rally and opponents will stage protests across the country. Opposition in France to gay marriage has radicalized over the past month as far-right extremists have joined the protests."
The BBC says that "police reinforcements have been brought in and security stepped up. Although previous rallies have been overwhelmingly peaceful, some clashes on the fringes have been blamed on far-right elements."
Eleanor adds, "The debate over same-sex marriage and adoption has divided France over the last year, pitting those who adhere to the values of secularism and equality against those holding more traditional, catholic values."
According to The Pew Forum, these countries had previously legalized same-sex marriage:
— New Zealand (in 2013)
— Uruguay (2013)
— Denmark (2012)
— Argentina (2010)
— Portugal (2010)
— Iceland (2010)
— Sweden (2009)
— Norway (2009)
— South Africa (2006)
— Spain (2005)
— Canada (2005)
— Belgium (2003)
— The Netherlands (2000)
In three other nations, same-sex marriage is legal in some jurisdictions. They are Brazil, Mexico and the U.S.