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France's National Assembly votes today, decisively approves marriage equality

PARIS – France’s National Assembly voted decisively today to approve marriage and adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples.

The deputies voted 329-229 on the bill, following weeks of debates on a slew of issues related to LGBT rights. Ten deputies abstained from the vote.

On Feb. 2, the deputies voted 249-97 to approve a crucial article in the bill that redefined marriage as a legal agreement between two people, removing language limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

The bill now goes to the Senate, which like the National Assembly is controlled by the Socialists and their allied political groups.

French President Francois Hollande won election in part because he promised voters that he would get marriage equality passed by lawmakers. His Socialist Party was joined by left-wing groups and others. The opposition included UMP and some centrist deputies.

Opinion polls consistently show that the French are supporting marriage equality by up to 60% and divided over gay adoption.