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French protests continue

July 2013

Thousands of supporters of marriage continued protesting against the French government’s same-sex marriage legislation at a rally in Paris on 25 May.

      Legislation permitting same-sex marriages and homosexual adoption was signed into law by Prime Minister François Hollande, the week before the rally, amid strong opposition from members of the public, religious leaders and social groups.

      Between 150,000 and one million people attended the rally to express their opposition to the ‘Marriage for All’ act, which also permits same-sex couples to adopt children.

      The rally was largely peaceful, with many engaging in prayer and singing, though clashes between police and far-right groups took place later in the day. Demonstrators emphasised the right of children to be raised by a mother and a father, while a 30-foot banner read ‘No change to civilisation’.

      Union for a Popular Movement MP Jacques Myard, who was present at the rally, said that the French government had passed the legislation ‘by force’ and that there was a ‘huge gap between this government and the citizens’ over the issue. He added: ‘This is something we cannot accept, because of the fate of the children. Those people are playing God…’

      Around 1.4 million attended a pro-marriage rally in March, while hundreds attended a coinciding Anglo-French rally in support of traditional marriage in Trafalgar Square, also in March. France’s first same-sex ‘marriage’ between two men took place on 29 May.