A French judge has ruled that same-sex couples can marry in France.
The ruling on Wednesday is the latest in a string of rulings against gay marriage in France that have drawn international condemnation.
The court said a ruling by France’s top administrative court on June 1 would give gay couples the right to marry in the country.
The decision has sparked a backlash on social media, with gay activists calling it a blatant violation of France’s constitution, and critics accusing the court of allowing gay couples to marry with the help of the state.
The ruling will be a blow to the French government and to its social liberalism.
It could also open the door to a backlash against gay couples who have already gotten married in other countries, such as Canada, where a gay couple was granted a legal union last year.
“The court’s decision is not an open door to gay couples in France,” said Emmanuelle Roussel, president of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Association (LGB) in Paris.
“It’s the same old homophobic nonsense that is destroying France.”
The ruling came a day after a similar decision in the southern city of Strasbourg by a regional court in the eastern city of Bordeaux, which said same-gender couples could wed.
Both rulings were the first in France, but they have sparked outrage from other parts of the country, as well as in the U.S.
A lesbian couple who married in France after having their union annulled by the Strasbourg court is appealing against the decision.
A number of other countries have followed Strasbourg’s lead, including Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Austria.
Roussel said she believes that a French ruling is “not a step towards equality,” but rather “a step towards a system of exploitation and control.”
She said she’s also concerned that gay couples could be given legal recognition in other parts on the continent if they get married in Paris, as happened in Canada.
Rouel said she expects the court will continue to issue rulings on the issue, and that a final decision will be issued in the coming months.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in France since 2004, but the country’s top religious authority has long banned the practice.
The Supreme Court of France has repeatedly ruled against same-dissolution of marriage.