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Protests Follow French Vote to Legalize Gay Marriage

holding hands, stress relief, gay marriage
(Image credit: <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-16833985/stock-photo-a-gay-couple-walking-back-down-the-aisle-after-making-their-vows-at-their-civil-partnership.html?src=4181bff60284052961dd71a744a44e82-1-10'>Gay marriage</a> via Shutterstock)

Rioting protesters and tear gas marked a vote to legalized gay marriage Tuesday (April 22) in France.

Paris, typically associated with love and romance, was the site of distinctly un-loving protests as France's National Assembly voted 331 to 225 to approve same-sex marriage, according to the Associated Press. Anti-gay-marriage activists charged police and were dispersed with tear gas. Though U.S. protests against same-sex marriage are typically not so tense, the United States and France show similarly even splits on the issue. According to Sky News, a recent poll in France pegged support for same-sex marriage at 58 percent (53 percent opposed adoption by same-sex couples). In the United States, the Pew Research Center finds that 49 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage and 44 percent oppose it, as this infographic explores.

France is the 14th country the make same-sex marriage legal. The other 13 are New Zealand, Argentina, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Portugal, Denmark and Uruguay. In the United States, same-sex couples can tie the knot in nine states and the District of Columbia. An upcoming Supreme Court decision may decide whether the federal government starts recognizing those unions.

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Stephanie Pappas
Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science. She covers the world of human and animal behavior, as well as paleontology and other science topics. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has ducked under a glacier in Switzerland and poked hot lava with a stick in Hawaii. Stephanie hails from East Tennessee, the global center for salamander diversity. Follow Stephanie on Google+.