French Senate backs same-sex marriage bill
April 14, 2013 -- Updated 1948 GMT (0348 HKT)
People take part in a protest against gay marriage on April 4, 2013, in front of the French Senate in Paris.
- French Senate approves a bill that would extend the right to marry to same-sex couples
- The controversial bill would also allow same-sex couples to adopt
- The move has been opposed by social conservatives and the Catholic Church
- The legislation has won wide backing from gay rights advocates
(CNN) -- The French Senate approved a controversial bill Friday that would give same-sex couples the rights to marry and adopt.
The lower house has already approved the legislation.
The bill, to which 10 amendments were made in the Senate, must still go through a second reading in the National Assembly and a final reading in the upper house.
The date for those readings has not yet been set.
Same-sex marriage battle in France
Open Mic: French on same-sex marriage
Minister for the Family Dominique Berinotti told CNN affiliate BFM-TV that the Senate vote was a "beautiful victory."
Extending the rights to marry and adopt to same-sex couples in France was one of President Francois Hollande's electoral pledges in campaigning last year.
The left, which includes Hollande's governing Socialist Party, dominates the National Assembly, where the bill passed by a large majority in February. The party has only a slim majority in the Senate.
The plan faced stiff opposition from the Roman Catholic Church, other religious groups and social conservatives, with huge numbers turning out for protests in recent weeks.
It won wide backing from gay rights advocates.
The new law would mark the biggest step forward for French gay rights advocates in more than a decade.
A law legalizing civil unions was introduced in 1999 in France under a previous Socialist government.
Known in France as the PACS (pacte civil de solidarite), the civil union agreement can be entered into by same-sex or straight couples and confers many but not all of the rights of marriage.
Same-sex marriage: Who will legalize it next?
CNN's Niki Cook and Charles Pellegrin contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.