Two men have married each other in the southern French city of Montpellier, in the first same-sex wedding in a country rocked by protests for and against the reform.
Vincent Aubin and Bruno Boileau exchanged vows yesterday in the city hall before the mayor, relatives and friends as dozens of riot police stood guard outside to ensure the ceremony was not interrupted by protesters.
The two men, who have been together since they hit it off six years ago on an online forum, embraced to wild cheers from the audience of some 500 people and the strains of Love and Marriage by Frank Sinatra.
“It’s a great pleasure for me to declare you married by law,” said Montpellier mayor Helene Mandroux as the couple kissed and signed the marriage registry.
The ceremony marked a symbolic end to months of debate that often overshadowed France’s economic woes, sealing Socialist president Francois Hollande’s reputation as a reformer despite bitter opposition from Catholics and conservatives.