First same-sex couple to wed in France under new marriage law

Vincent Autin (L) and his partner Bruno pose for a photograph on May 18, 2013 in front of the city hall of Montpellier, southern France. The socialist mayor of Montpellier, Helene Mandroux, will celebrate on May 29, 2013 at the city hall of Montpellier the first French homosexual marriage with the wedding uniting Vincent Autin and his partner Bruno. Montpellier is known as being the "French San Francisco" and was elected by the French gay magazine Tetu on December 2012 as being the "most friendly" French town. After months of acrimonious debate and hundreds of protests that have occasionally spilled over into violence, France’s National Assembly approved on April 23, 2013 a bill making the country the 14th to legalise same-sex marriage. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty Images

Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau will become the first same-sex couple to wed in France under new marriage equality laws.

The couple, which has been together since 2006, will wed in the sourthern France city of Montpellier, in front of 200 friends, 300 activists and more than 100 journalists at 5:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

Autin, 40, works for Montpellier’s tourist office and is a gay rights activist who has lobbied for the rights of gay parents. Boileau, 30, is a civil servant. They say they would like to adopt a child after they wed, reports The Guardian.

While putting their marriage in the spotlight is a bit intimidating, Boileau told French newspaper Le Point that they were keeping the bigger picture in mind.  “We try to always keep in our spirit the end aim, which is equality for all, that everyone can marry in their town,” he said.

Their wedding comes after President Francois Hollande’s left-learning government passed a law that will allow same-sex couples to marry and will also allow them the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples.

The bill, which passed in April and was recently signed into law, was a divisive one in the country and it drew some of the largest protests France has seen in the past decade. A protest in Paris over the weekend drew hundreds of thousands of people. Nearly 300 were arrested after some protesters became violent and clashed with police.