France preparing for the first gay marriage

France’s first official gay wedding takes place Wednesday in the southern city of Montpellier amid tight security and fears of protests after months of opposition that saw tens of thousands take to the streets, AFP reports.

Vincent Autin, 40, and Bruno Boileau, 30, will exchange vows at Montpellier city hall at in the presence of hundreds of guests, including the Socialist government’s spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

Vallaud-Belkacem said she was attending the ceremony as a private citizen and not a state representative, after the government backed away from sending officials fearing it would be accused of politicising the event.

On Sunday, at least 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Paris in the latest in a series of protests to denounce the new law, which authorises both gay marriage and adoptions by same-sex couples.

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