Paris marchers demand universal reproductive rights

Up to 500,000 people expected to turn out for march demanding equal reproductive rights for same sex couples 

24 June 2017
By Carmen Cracknell

Over half a million people are expected to descend on the streets of Paris today for the annual ‘Marche des fiertés’, or LGBT pride festival.

On the fortieth anniversary of the first gay pride march in Paris, activists are demanding “unrestricted medically assisted reproductive rights”.

A survey released yesterday in France showed that only 44% are in favour of surrogacy for same sex couples, while 59% are in favour of assisted reproductive technology rights being extended to them. Approval ratings are far lower in the over-65 age bracket.

“Hollande made a promise five years ago and until now no change has been made. We don’t want to see another presidential term go by without any progress being made,” said a spokesperson for l’Inter-LGBT. In 2013 same sex marriage was legalised. But the government’s position on reproductive rights for gay couples continues to waver.

Until 1981, homosexuality was considered a mental illness in France. However homosexuality was decriminalised after the French Revolution (as opposed to in the UK where male homosexuality was illegal until 1967), although the Vichy regime introduced a higher homosexual age of consent with the ages only being completely equalised again in 1982 (the ages were equalised in the UK in 2001). 

France is under a state of emergency due to last until November 2017 and Paris is on security alert for the duration of the demonstration.

A nocturnal march took place last night “against sexism, homophobia, transphobia and biphobia”. 

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