Mass demo rejects gay marriage

Claims of up to one million on streets of Paris to oppose mariage et adoption pour tous

14 January 2013
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WITH claims of up to one million people marching in Paris, opponents showed the strength of opposition to plans to legalise gay marriage – but the government said it would not move.

The Préfecture de Police put the number at 340,000, which exceeded 300,000 target set by the organisers of Manif pour tous, who oppose the proposal for mariage et adoption pour tous.

With support from the Catholic Church, the UMP and the far-right Front National, marches left from Place d'Italie, Denfert-Rochereau and Porte Maillot to converge on the Champ-de-Mars chanting “All born of man and woman” and “Taubira [Christiane, the justice minister, leading the law], you’re beat; the family’s on the street”.

Unofficial spokeswoman of the anti campaign, Frigide Barjot [writer and humorist, Virginie Tellenne] told journalists they wanted a meeting with President Hollande to persuade him to halt the bill’s introduction. “The demonstration will be a success if the president meets us. He must listen to us and suspend the proposal.”

Jean-Francois Cop, leader of the UMP, said Hollande had to listen to the “millions concerned by this reform".

Marine Le Pen, Front National leader, did not attend the march, saying it diverted attention from France’s real problems.

Official government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said it was “determined” to push ahead with the reform which “was not a victory for one side over another, but an advance for society”.

Allowing homosexual marriage was a main proposal in Hollande’s election campaign and until recently polls had shown support from 60% of people, although the most recent poll put the figure at 56%.

Last month 60,000 demonstrated in Place de la Bastille in support of gay marriage, as a riposte to an earlier march by 100,000 against the proposal.

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