For the second time this year, more than a million French citizens converged in the streets of Paris on Sunday to protest same-sex marriage.
While the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in two cases involving same-sex marriage, more than a million people took to the streets of Paris on Sunday for the second time this year to protest the passage of a law that will make same-sex marriages legal in that country. Sunday’s gathering was even larger than a similar event in January which drew crowds of up to 800,000.
The Telegraph is reporting that even though authorities forbad march organizers to organize near the Champs-Elysees, this did nothing to deter the protest. Marchers simply used a different route and still drew an estimated 1.4 million people who are demanding that Socialist President Francois Hollande’s government focus on the country’s enormous unemploymenet problems rather than press his social agenda on the nation.
Banners held by the crowd read “We want work not gay marriage,” and “No to gayxtremism.”
Some arrests were made and police reportedly used tear gas on the crowd, which included children.
The people are protesting a highly controversial bill allowing same-sex marriage and adoption that is expected to pass into law next month. It easily passed the lower chamber of parliament and is expected to do the same in the Senate. Protestors want the government to withdraw the bill and allow the people to vote on it instead.
Virginie Tellenne, a Parisian socialite who goes by the name of Frigide Barjot – a play on the name of Brigitte Bardot – has become the face of the country’s traditional marriage faction.
“We want the president to deal with the economy and leave the family alone,” Ms Tellenne told the Telegraph.
Marie, a 30 year-old protestor, said “We will not give up anything. We came to defend the fact that a father and a mother is better for children.”
The rapidly growing movement against same-sex marriage in France was said to have been started by a campaign orchestrated by the Catholic Church which steadily gained momentum.
President Hollande is not yet budging on the issue, however, and his vastly unpopular live-in companion, Valerie Trierweiler, says they plan to begin attending marriages of homosexual friends when the law is passed.
The president’s stance is doing nothing for his sinking popularity. He is now enjoying an approval rate of just 31 percent, a number that is expected to continue to decline as he insists on championing this issue rather than tend to the country’s enormous economic woes.
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