In a landmark decision Tuesday the French parliament approved a controversial bill by a vote of 331-225 allowing same-sex couples in France to marry and adopt children.

Opponents and supporters alike filled the streets of Paris in past months with one demonstration bringing upwards of 340,000 people. This particular protest ended in blasts of tear gas fired by soldiers as right-wing extremists incited violence amongst the crowd and charged police in attempts to make a break for the Presidential Palace.

This week saw renewed violence as attacks on gay couples spiked and legislators were threatened. On Monday National Assembly president and avid supporter of the gay marriage bill, Claude Bartelone, was sent an envelope filled with gunpowder.

Protests are only expected to continue as the bill must now go through the constitutional council and finally be signed by President Francois Hollande to become written into law.

France is now the 9th country in Europe and 14th in the world to legalize gay marriage. This once religiously conservative country has set an example for progressive social reform and the struggle for human equality.

Renee Lott is an intern at Foreign Policy in Focus.