A spectre of gay marriage equality may slowly be sweeping across Europe. Taking a cue from their English neighbors, the French took one very big step toward legalizing gay marriage on Tuesday. France's National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) voted 329-to-229 in favor of a bill extending the right to marry and adopt to same-sex couples. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. The Senate is controlled by Francois Hollande's Socialist party and their allies, who have been campaigning for the bill to pass.
But that's doesn't mean it's completely out of the woods. The measure faces stiff competition from the Roman Catholic Church, which strictly opposes its passing. And there have been massive protests in different parts of the country against the bill. That balance of certainty and uncertainty reflects a similar situation facing gay marriage in Britain, where a gay marriage bill is set to face the House of Lords next — it's expected to pass into law, but that chamber has a reputation for being sticks-in-the-mud.