The French edition of Elle Magazine has come out in support of equal marriage in France, amidst a heated debate on the issue by featuring a lesbian couple getting married, on its cover.

The stance of the magazine is laid out on the cover with the image of the couple, accompanied by the words “marriage for all”.

This support comes amidst a battle around equal marriage, which will soon be considered in French parliament, the debate around which is heating up, including mass protests, both for and against the reform.

The issue also includes an editorial piece by the editorial director of the magazine, Valérie Toranian, who says she thinks it is right that equal marriage should be debated, and being inclusive of equality is the natural way for the magazine to go, reports NYMag.

On 7 November, French President Francois Hollande’s government approved a bill to legalise equal marriage and allow gay couples to adopt.  

When he introduced the bill, the same day that three US states – MaineMaryland and Washington – legalised equal marriage, President Hollande told his cabinet that it would mean “progress not only for individuals but for the whole of society”.

Last weekend, an estimated 340,000 people took to the streets of Paris protest against the country’s upcoming bill which would allow equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. 

In November, thousands of pro-equality demonstrators turned up to rally at the National Assembly in Paris, to show support for equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

Polls show a majority of French voters support marriage equality, but it has divided the country’s left and right, with lawmakers from the conservative UMP denouncing the measure.

The reform, opposed by more than 1,000 mayors and France’s Catholic Church, will be debated by parliament later this month.

At the Vatican on Sunday, a Ukrainian feminist group demonstrated topless at St Peter’s Square for gay rights, as Pope Benedict XVI gave his weekly prayer.

The “Marriage for All” issue of Elle magazine comes out in shops on Friday 18 January.