Approximately 7,000 same-sex couples have been married in France since gay marriage was legalized last spring, France24 reported Tuesday
. The figure represents three percent of all marriages in France.
The enactment of legislation authorizing same-sex marriage last year fulfilled a promise by President Francois Hollande, who had vowed to sign such a measure soon after passage by French lawmakers.
The measure was passed despite intense opposition from the powerful Catholic Church.
The mayors of several French towns have argued that their right not to perform such marriages is protected by the French Constitution, which holds that freedom of conscience is an essential human right.
These efforts were rejected last year by the Constitutional Council, France’s highest court.
Citing figures from France’s National Statistics Institute, Radio France Internationale reported
that three out of five same-sex marriages involve men, and that gay couples tend to be older than heterosexual ones.
The average age of gay couples is 43 for women and 50 for men. By comparison, straight couples average 34 years of age for women and 37 for men.
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