French MPs pass gay marriage bill


France on Tuesday came a step closer to legalizing gay marriage when the lower house of Parliament approved a bill allowing same-sex couples to wed and adopt children.

The legislation, a key election pledge of Socialist President Francois Hollande, passed by a vote of 329 to 229 in the National Assembly and must now win final approval in the Senate.

The vote came 10 days after lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to adopt its key article that redefines marriage as a contract between two people rather than between a man and a woman.