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Protesters Riot with Police as Hundreds of Thousands March Against Gay Marriage in Paris: VIDEOS

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A massive demonstration to stop the legalization of same-sex marriage brought out thousands of conservatives to the streets of Paris today.

Watch videos of the clashes and a report from Euronews, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Guardian reports:

Hundreds of thousands of people – conservative activists, children, retirees, priests – many bussed in from the French provinces – converged on the capital on Sunday in a last-ditch bid to stop the bill.

The lower house of France's parliament approved the "marriage for everyone" bill last month with a large majority, and it now faces a vote in the Senate next month. Both houses are dominated by President François Hollande's Socialist party and its allies. Sustained protests led by opposition conservatives in this traditionally Catholic country have eroded support for the draft law in recent months, and organisers hope Sunday's march will weigh on the Senate debate.

The first few hours of the protest were peaceful. But as it was meant to be winding down, about 100 youths tried to push past police barricades on to the Champs-Elysées. In an indication of the sensitivity of the issue, protesters had been barred from marching on the avenue that cuts through central Paris and draws throngs of tourists daily..

The crowd was estimated at 300,000 people, though organizers said it was 1.2 million.

Tears gas was used on a number of rioting protesters, The Local reports:

100 to 200 frustrated protestors had reportedly attempted to breach a police barricade blocking them from entering the Champs Elysees. In response, riot police forcibly pushed them back from the fences, as well as spraying them with tear gas.

Jean-François Copé, leader of the centre-right opposition UMP party, who was present at the protest, called for President Hollande to be "held to account", and expressed his "indignation" that tear gas had been deployed "against families present with their children."

Watch videos of the clashes and a report from Euronews, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: Real ugliness. Apparently the protesters were using children as human shields.

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Comments

  1. trust - there were countless children there who were less afraid of the tear gas than they were of the knowledge that their parents dragged them out to march against....themselves.

    yes. there were terrified and Closeted gay children there - brought by their parents.

    the sting goes way deeper than just the eyes and lungs - that sting goes right to their core.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 24, 2013 3:28:26 PM


  2. Here's a novel idea: don't bring your children to your bigoted rallies where irrational tempers have a tendency to flare.

    Posted by: kp05 | Mar 24, 2013 3:28:55 PM


  3. Get a job, Frenchie!

    Posted by: Andy | Mar 24, 2013 3:29:34 PM


  4. Boohoo! Why can't we just treat gay people like second class citizens?!?!

    Posted by: Andy | Mar 24, 2013 3:30:01 PM


  5. This happened in spain eight years ago, but most people in that marches get over gay marriage long time ago, and in France it will happen the same.
    The only difference is in spain there's no far right party like in France

    Posted by: jjose712 | Mar 24, 2013 3:30:59 PM


  6. had the frustrated protesters pushed and shoved resulting in somewhat of a stampede would have been nice.

    Posted by: Ant | Mar 24, 2013 3:35:42 PM


  7. Oh, the French love a good riot.

    Posted by: LJC | Mar 24, 2013 3:36:58 PM


  8. this is so frustrating for me...paris is my home away from home, my favourite city in the world...to see such a display in a place that is normally so accepting and so laissez-faire about homosexuality just breaks my heart.

    Posted by: KDNA | Mar 24, 2013 3:44:43 PM


  9. well, it just goes to show - Hate and Crazy are massive factors in driving people to get off their butts.

    had a great experience at a restaurant? you're less likely to post a review online, or write to the establishment.
    had a bad experience? you'll be more likely to tell anyone and everyone about it.

    this is why the pro-Equality side cannot afford to be lazy or silent or invisible.

    the voices of hatred will always be loud and strident.
    the voices of love and equality need to be equally loud, if not louder.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 24, 2013 3:49:45 PM


  10. Last march of the bigots....there and here. Just sandbags in front of the rising tide.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Mar 24, 2013 3:50:27 PM


  11. Lets not forget that France's record for standing up against tyranny is... less than admirable. So basically you have a bunch of Mary-worshipers bowing toward Rome, with some Muslim trouble-makers thrown in for good measure. I've traveled all over Europe and in my experience the reputation the French have is well deserved. For much of the country their cultural arrogance has the least amount of justification for it, their much-vaunted sophistication is just skin-deep, a matter of pride but no real conviction.

    That's just my opinion of course, but I stand by it.

    Posted by: Caliban | Mar 24, 2013 4:20:20 PM


  12. wow... not good optics. :sigh: LittleKiwi, you're right...

    I think perhaps the big reason why there is such opposition is because they've had a civil partnerships law for many years... how that compares to the rights of marriage in France, as well as the federal tax codes, I don't know.

    Posted by: scott | Mar 24, 2013 4:30:03 PM


  13. "bussed in from [the boonies]"

    Posted by: Mike B. | Mar 24, 2013 4:33:17 PM


  14. Hah, the only good thing that'll come out of this are wingnuts who'll do a 180 and start lauding France.

    Is France really a Catholic country? Aren't half their children born out of wedlock?

    Posted by: Hugh | Mar 24, 2013 4:33:23 PM


  15. Disgusting French bigots.

    Posted by: rise | Mar 24, 2013 4:47:35 PM


  16. uh-huh! uh-huh! a traditionally catholic country with the lowest church attendance in all of Europe! the people had to be brought in from the 'provinces' because the Parisians would sit in their cafe chairs with their legs crossed & swinging sipping their cafe and just yawn over the brouhaha. they could care less, except when they 'provincials' with their catholic clergy come after their adultery.... n'est pas?

    Posted by: mike/ | Mar 24, 2013 4:50:04 PM


  17. I've heard that the civil partnership law is destroying marriage. Doing exactly what those people are so afraid of because it is open to both gay and straight, so straight couples are choosing it over marriage because its easier to get out of.

    Time to get rid of it and just have marriage for everyone.

    Posted by: tc in bk | Mar 24, 2013 4:52:49 PM


  18. Caliban:
    It is unfair to condemn a country just because of the obnoxious behaviour of some extremists which by the way exist in every country. Remember it was the majority Socialist government which introduced the equal marriage bill. As for culture, France did produced a lot of famous writers and scientists as attested by their long list of Nobel laureates.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 24, 2013 4:53:25 PM


  19. at least we can all bond over the fact that no matter where we're from, or where we now live, every country's bigots are exactly the same.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 24, 2013 5:02:38 PM


  20. I would also like to add a few familiar names like Genet, Proust, Satre, Dumas.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 24, 2013 5:04:08 PM


  21. I'm wondering is this the type of people that let German Nazi walk all over them without as much of a sound back in the days. Bullies are cowards. Me think they projected their own issues on the gays because we are less scary.

    Posted by: bambinoitaliano | Mar 24, 2013 5:05:03 PM


  22. Well, NOM couldn't have been involved in this. There are clearly more than 32 - 37 people there.

    Posted by: BearlyBob | Mar 24, 2013 5:21:27 PM


  23. President Hollande campaigned for marriage equality and he won the election. Whatever the anti-equality folks tried to do now is inconsequential as the matter was settled after the election. I would say that a huge number of people who showed up at the rally, especially those who decided to provoke the peacekeepers, are Sarkozy's supporters or simply against the Socialist government and not motivated by the issue per se. I'm sure that they see this as a perfect outlet to take to the street and stage a demonstration against the Hollande's government. The political environment in France is a major factor in these huge turn outs.

    Posted by: gayalltheway | Mar 24, 2013 5:59:11 PM


  24. Bambinoitaliano- I was thinking the same thing and couldn't have said it any better.

    Posted by: Jim OToole | Mar 24, 2013 7:27:40 PM


  25. gayalltheway:
    You are right that all the noise made by the opposition is futile. Democracy will run its course and it is almost certain that marriage equality will become reality in France in June or July.

    Posted by: simon | Mar 24, 2013 8:28:56 PM


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