March to stop French gay marriage law

2013-04-21 17:31
(Photo: AFP)

(Photo: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - Thousands of opponents of a gay marriage bill thronged the streets of Paris under the watchful eye of police on Sunday in a last-ditch bid to block the legislation.

The demonstration came after days of sometimes vicious protests and several homophobic assaults in France, as parliament prepares to vote on - and likely pass - the bill on Tuesday, making France the 14th country to legalise same-sex marriage.

The recent unrest has sparked concern over Sunday's mass demonstration - particularly as supporters of the legislation are also poised to begin a rival protest in Paris.

Both organisers and security forces are on high alert.

Many parents and their children were part of the procession, holding French flags and pink and blue banners, the colour of the "Manif pour tous" (Demo for All) group - the spearhead of the movement against the bill, which would also legalise adoption by gay couples.

France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who was on site on Sunday to support police forces, warned organisers last week that far-right extremists had infiltrated the opposition movement and were intent on provoking unrest.

"We want a peaceful demonstration and we reject all groups that directly target homosexual people," said Frigide Barjot, spokesperson for the "Manif pour Tous" group.

She said she had called on "professional security services" to help out, adding that any excesses would be reported to specially designated people along the way, who would in turn report them to police.

And even before the start of the protest, one man carrying six canisters of teargas spotted by organisers was detained by police.

Tension over the imminent adoption of the law, which is going through a second reading in the lower house after already being approved in the French parliament's upper and lower houses, reached breaking point last week.

In Paris, opponents marched for three nights in a row from Wednesday to Friday, and a hard-core of activists, some wearing masks, clashed with police, who made more than 100 arrests during the week.

Opinion polls regularly show that while most French people support same-sex marriage, a majority oppose adoption by gay couples.

Read more on:    france  |  gay rights

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?

Motorcycle deaths are on track to decline for a second year in the US thanks to a so far - on bikes - little-used road safety accessory.

 

Stay safe

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?
Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is crucial to look twice before signing anything important right now. While Mercury is in retrograde strange things can happen,...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.