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Hundreds Of Thousands Protest Marriage Equality In Paris: VIDEO


Police estimate about 120,000 people took to Paris' streets today to protest marriage equality there. Organizers, mostly Catholics or Muslims who believe in "traditional marriage" and secular activists who oppose same-sex couples raising children, claim about 500,000 people turned out.

Either way, it was a massive rally, just the latest indication that the Socialist government led by President François Hollande faces stiff, sustained opposition to their plan to expand marriage laws to include same-sex couples.

The BBC has a report from the action:

Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris over plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children.

Three big marches were converging on the Champs de Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower.

The "Demo for all" event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the "crowd is immense" and told French TV that gay marriage "makes no sense" because a child should be born to a man and woman.

Centre-right UMP President Jean-Francois Cope said the rally would be a "test" for the president because there were "clearly millions of French people who are probably concerned by this reform".

The far-right National Front is also opposed to the change, although its leader Marine Le Pen stayed away from the march, arguing the issue was a diversion by politicians from France's real problems.

Despite the support of the Church and political right, the organizers are keen to stress their movement is non-political and non-religious, and in no way directed against homosexuals, BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield reports.

I've included a video report from today's protest AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. gay marriage "makes no sense" because a child should be born to a man and woman. - Frigide Barjot

    It makes sense that a child is born from a man & a woman she's right with that one but she's wrong when she thinks it gives her the right to use that against me so I can't marry the one I love. Marriage isn't just for those who can reproduce - it's about two souls coming together to unite as one in love ( & God for the religulous ones). Some straight married couples can't reproduce naturally so they adopt...the same reason same-sex couples do - they want to have a family - a legacy! Gay marriage makes sense it creates family to children who didn't have the luxury of staying with the ones they were born into.

    Posted by: oh dear! | Jan 13, 2013 7:23:46 PM

  2. Sacre blah.

    Posted by: Chicklets | Jan 13, 2013 7:48:07 PM

  3. Where were the nude feminists? They seemed to have been locked up in Italy.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 13, 2013 7:51:05 PM

  4. Catholics and Muslims don't agree on many things, but they can agree on hating homosexuals. Their hatred for us exceeds their hatred for each other.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Jan 13, 2013 8:32:10 PM

  5. This happened here in Spain too. Seven years later, nobody cares.
    Some people were smart enough to even watch the good business that gay weddings are

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jan 13, 2013 2:29:34 PM


    Posted by: Oliver | Jan 13, 2013 9:13:51 PM

  6. Yeah, seven years later in Spain with a right-wing Nationalist Party in power and STILL no one is turning the clock back on marriage equality.

    I think that the French will, in the not too distant future, be VERY ashamed of this day in their history.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jan 13, 2013 10:39:10 PM

  7. @SOB: FYI, "French Fries" originate in Belgium, at least according to Belgians.

    Posted by: Bill | Jan 13, 2013 11:47:27 PM

  8. "the organizers are keen to stress their movement is non-political and non-religious, and in no way directed against homosexuals..."

    What? They are protesting a politician's proposal to legalize gay marriage. They'd prefer, largely for religious reasons, that gay relationships keep their second-class status. That is the opposite of "non-political and non-religious, and in no way directed against homosexuals."

    Posted by: shawnthesheep | Jan 14, 2013 12:38:15 AM

  9. I wish to be optimistic that marriage equality will prevail in France. Still, 120,000+ protesters against equality is nothing to ignore. The absurdity of it all is that France is supposed to be a "secular" country, yet the Catholic Church and now the large and growing Muslim population have undue influence on public policy in France. That is a shame. One hopes that marriage equality and full civil equality for LGBT people will be recognized legally.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 14, 2013 2:35:24 AM

  10. jamal49:
    François Hollande had 18,000,668 votes while his opponent got 16,860,685 votes in the last election. I would start to worry if the protest drew more than 20 millions people.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 14, 2013 4:30:36 AM

  11. The Catholics and Muslims hate one another, and the Muslims are (as a group) causing trouble for gays everywhere. I know several gay muslims in France, but a lot of trouble is being caused in Holland.

    Posted by: billmiller | Jan 14, 2013 6:53:11 AM

  12. "HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS" ??? Accurate headline? NO !!! Police estimate the number of protesters at 120,000. Thats a lot of people, but what it ain't is "HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS".

    Posted by: andrew | Jan 14, 2013 7:27:20 AM

  13. Actually, Andrew Belonsky is right. There were (sadly) hundres of thousands of protesters. Here's an updated report of the BBC:

    Posted by: Peter M. | Jan 14, 2013 8:07:41 AM

  14. The number of protesters were not that significant. That was only a small fraction of people who voted for Holland's opponent. We also know those were mostly religious nuts who will march to Jerusalem if the Pope told them to do so.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 14, 2013 10:34:16 AM

  15. It is France and not US. It looks impressive. French in general are more "organized". That's why the Labour unions in France are some powerful force to reckon with. It probably is also true for religious organizations. It is not like in the US, Walker of Wisconsin was able to bully the unions there.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 14, 2013 11:26:29 AM

  16. I see london i see france my man has no underpants. ^_^

    Posted by: alexander | Jan 14, 2013 11:52:50 AM

  17. There is no way the Socialist government will back down. It is no longer an issue about marriage for all. It becomes a political and power struggle.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 14, 2013 2:23:13 PM

  18. Gay marriage already exists in France. This people protest against gay adoption rights. Even so I think this reactionary nutjobs are sad, sad people one should not forget that not all of the French are like this.

    Posted by: coexxi | Jan 14, 2013 4:10:13 PM

  19. They are not against gay adoption right. That is just an excuse. They just don't like gay people. The French prime minister has already pointed out the hypocrisy that gay families already exist in France because single people can adopt children.
    They should also protest against single parents if they are serious about one man one woman for a child.

    Posted by: simon | Jan 14, 2013 7:36:33 PM

  20. Meh, bigots and ignorant assholes here in the USA, bigots and ignorant assholes in France. No difference.

    Posted by: mmike1969 | Jan 14, 2013 8:44:14 PM

  21. Who would have known with all those
    "Fifi- looking gents" in France! Brigitte Bardot must be in heaven(or Russia)with these demonstrations.

    Posted by: Monrocsol | Jan 15, 2013 11:36:02 AM

  22. Not surprising.

    Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

    I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 17,000 global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

    Link to group >>

    All LGBT+ and community allies.... please come join me and 17,000+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world's countries.

    It's core value is - Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe's largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT - or a welcomed community ally

    Posted by: Dennis Velco | Jan 15, 2013 8:46:20 PM

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