April 23 - As a protester interrupts the final vote in a rowdy debating chamber, pro-gay marriage campaigners outside celebrate with champagne. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Champagne corks popped and members of parliament applauded as the French National Assembly voted to back a landmark law legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption on Tuesday. The law was a key election pledge of Francois Hollande's Socialists and comes at a difficult time for the embattled president whose government faces poor poll ratings. Outside the parliament on Tuesday, delighted pro-gay marriage campaigners popped champagne corks and threw their arms around loved ones as the result was announced. The law still has to be implemented with legal experts expecting the first weddings to take place in the early summer. France, a mainly Catholic country, follows 13 others including Canada, Denmark, Sweden and most recently Uruguay and New Zealand in letting gay and lesbian couples tie the knot. In the United States, Washington D.C. and nine states have legalized same-sex marriage.