French president Francois Hollande signs gay marriage and same-sex adoption into law despite national protests

The changes have sparked angry demonstrations from conservative groups

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After months of protests and fiery debate, the French President has legalised gay marriage and same-sex adoption.

Francois Hollande's signature means the first gay marriages may be celebrated in France within the month. By French law there must be 10 days between the publication of the banns and the ceremony.

Hollande's office said he signed the bill this morning, a day after the Constitutional Council struck down a challenge to the law.

The President made legalising gay marriage one of his campaign pledges in last year's election. While polls for years have shown majority support for gay marriage in France, adoption by same-sex couples is more controversial.

The bill prompted months of widespread protests, largely by conservative and religious groups. Some were marred by clashes with police.