Thousands Protest Against Marriage Equality in France

Waving pink and blue flags, at least 340,000 protesters flocked to Paris to fight against the president's support of same-sex marriage and adoption.

BY Diane Anderson-Minshall

January 13 2013 4:55 PM ET

A protester holding a placard reading 'There are no eggs in the testicles (Frigide Barjot)' passes by the Eiffel Tower during a march against same-sex marriage on January 13, 2013 in Paris. Tens of thousands march in Paris on January 13 to denounce government plans to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption which have angered many Catholics and Muslims, France's two main faiths, as well as the right-wing opposition. The French parliament is to debate the bill — one of the key electoral pledges of Socialist President — at the end of this month.

Several hundred thousand people gathered at Champ de Mars Park at the Eiffel Tower in Paris today to protest against President Francois Hollande's plan to legalize same-sex marriage, according to Reuters. Anywhere between 340,00 and 800,000 protesters joined in (according to police and organizers, respectively), many of them waving blue and pink flags showing a man, woman,and two children.

According to Tom Heneghan of Reuters, the protests were strongly backed by the Catholic Church officials, anti-gay comedian Frigide Barjot, political conservative groups, as well as some Muslims, evangelicals, and "even homosexuals opposed to gay marriage."

Hollande's office told Heneghan that while the turnout was significant, it would not change his commitment to marriage equality.

"The French are tolerant, but they are deeply attached to the family and the defense of children," said Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the National Council of French Evangelicals, told Heneghan.

According to Reuters, support for marriage equality has actually dropped below 55% since opponents began their campaign, and "fewer than half of those polled recently wanted gays to win adoption rights."

Many protesters expressed their belief that same-sex couples should have civil rights, but that children deserved "to have a mother and father." Many protesters also carried signs carried with slogans including  "marriagophile, not homophobe," "paternity, maternity, equality," and "all born of a father and mother."

 

 

 

 

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