In anticipation of the upcoming wedding ceremonies, tens of thousands of anti-gay marriage protesters rallied in central Paris earlier today. The Guardian reports on the march and the clashes between demonstrators and riot police:
At least 150,000 protesters converged on Paris, marshaled by more than 4,500 police who were deployed after the government warned of a risk of violence and disruption.
Riot police evicted about a dozen far-right activists who used ladders to climb on to the roof of the Socialist party headquarters and unfurled a banner saying "Hollande resign".
The night before the demonstration, 50 people were arrested after chaining themselves to metal barriers they had placed in the middle of the Champs Elysées and firing smoke canisters. A van carrying masks, banners and smoke bombs was seized by police.
The reform has sparked months of bitter political division over the issue. On Tuesday, a far-right historian shot himself at the altar of Notre Dame cathedral after leaving messages in which he denounced gay marriage.
The marriage equality law, signed by French president François Hollande last week, will go into effect on Wednesday. The move makes France the ninth country in Europe and the 14th globally to legalize marriage equality.
Watch a news report on the anti-gay protest, AFTER THE JUMP...