PARIS, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- France's National Assembly has approved a draft law bringing the country one step closer to permitting same-sex marriage.
The marriage-for-all law also extends adoption rights to same-sex couples, a move opposed by many Catholics along with French Muslims and evangelical Christians, Euronews.com reported Wednesday.
Passage of the measure was hailed by Bruno Le Roux, the leader of the Socialist members of parliament.
"We won't judge people in terms of their sexual orientation by differentiating any more," Le Roux said. "It's one fewer difference to be made, so it really is a great day for equal rights."
Deputies in the lower chamber voted 329-229 in favor of the legalization measure, with 10 members abstaining, CNN reported.
Before the measure can become law in France, it must be approved by the Senate.
British lawmakers took a big step toward legalization of same-sex marriage recently by approving the second reading of a bill in the House of Commons.