Legalizing gay marriage was one of President Francois Hollande's campaign promises. Polls have shown a narrow majority of French favour allowing such unions, though the support weakens when questions about adoption and conception of children come into play.

As the bill has made its way through the French legislative process, opposition has mounted, especially from conservative groups from more rural parts of the country. While the protests against the gay marriage bill have been largely peaceful, violence has occasionally erupted on the sidelines.