Awesome news: despite substantial political opposition and the breathless objections of the Catholic Church, French government ministers will approve the draft version of a marriage equality law on October 31. Pink News reports:

. . . Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault insisted there would be no backtracking on a manifesto promise by President Francois Hollande in an interview with AFP.

More than 1,200 French mayors and deputy mayors have signed a petition opposing the government’s plans, with many of them warning they will not preside over same-sex ceremonies.

However, this represents less than one percent of the total number of mayors and deputy mayors in France.

According to Pink News, once this hurdle is cleared, it will be less than one year before marriage equality becomes the law of the land in France.

President Hollande has promised that the legislation will be on the statute books by mid-2013 and there is sufficient cross party support to ensure the government will be able to push it through on schedule.

It’s wonderful to see such an important nation taking such decisive steps toward equality. Vive la France!