French court rules mayors cannot block same-sex marriage
October 20, 2013 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were the first same-sex couple to marry in France in May 2013.
- France's top court says mayors cannot block gay marriages based on their personal beliefs
- A group of seven mayors had filed an appeal with the Constitutional Council last month
- The law was approved this year by France's parliament and signed off by the president
- A growing number of countries around the world now allow same-sex marriage
(CNN) -- France's top court ruled Friday that French mayors cannot refuse to officiate same-sex marriages based on their personal, moral or religious beliefs.
The Constitutional Council ruled that the same-sex marriage law does not infringe on the mayors' "freedom of conscience" and therefore should be applied.
A group of seven mayors had filed an appeal with the Constitutional Council on September 18 stating their opposition to conducting same-sex marriage.
A bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt was passed earlier this year by the French parliament and signed into law by President Francois Hollande.
A growing number of countries around the world now allow same-sex marriage, the majority of them in Europe.
The Netherlands was the first, in 2001, and it was later joined by Belgium, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Denmark and France. A bill to allow same-sex marriage in England and Wales is also now law, though it isn't expected to come into force until 2014.
Argentina, Uruguay, Canada, Brazil, New Zealand and South Africa are the non-European countries in the group, according to the Pew Research Center.
Same-sex marriage is also legal in some parts of Mexico and the United States.
French same-sex couple: Why we tied the knot
Part of complete coverage on
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
It was supposed to be a class trip to a resort island. Instead, the ferry capsized, turning the afternoon into a deadly nightmare.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 2212 GMT (0612 HKT)
From giant zippers to buttock-shaped balloons, Jun Kitagawa's public art is whimsical, erotic and playful.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
Ukraine says it's forces have regained control of an airfield from Russian separatists. Nick Paton Walsh reports.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1702 GMT (0102 HKT)
Romance is hard, for anyone. For people with intersex traits, love poses unique challenges.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1851 GMT (0251 HKT)
Sky gazers caught a glimpse of the "blood moon" crossing the Earth's shadow Tuesday in all its splendor.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1624 GMT (0024 HKT)
Oscar Pistorius didn't consciously pull the trigger the night he shot and killed his girlfriend, the sprinter testified at his murder trial.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 2116 GMT (0516 HKT)
Officials are launching their next option: an underwater vehicle to scan the ocean floor.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
A mysterious new artwork has appeared in Cheltenham, where Britain's version of the NSA is located.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
Like many parents across Liverpool, the McManamans waited. 25 years ago, it was all they could do.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
How do you design a superyacht fit for the billionaire who has everything money can buy?
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Packaging can change how people see things. And when it comes to sex, it could maybe help save lives too.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1542 GMT (2342 HKT)
Africa is home to much unique wildlife, but many of its iconic species are threatened.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)
This solar-powered aircraft will attempt to circle the globe next year.
April 14, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
Most adults make the mistakes of hitting the snooze button and of checking emails first thing in the morning, writes Mel Robbins.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 0043 GMT (0843 HKT)
Ebola victims usually come from remote areas -- but now the lethal virus is in a city of two million.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1240 GMT (2040 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
Today's five most popular stories