More than 100,000 people took to the streets in France to protest the government’s plan to approve same-sex marriage and adoption.
Saturday’s protest against gay marriage was called the “March for Everyone,” and included pro-family and Catholic groups, reports Al Jazeera. Several thousand people marched in Paris while carrying signs with slogans like, “One child (equals) one father + one mother.”
About 70,000 people were present at the anti-gay marriage rally in Paris on Saturday, though organizers put the number at 200,000, adding that there were more than 30,000 others holding similar protests around the country.
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a women’s rights minister and government spokeswoman, defended the right of homosexuals to both marry and adopt, saying that it represents progress for everyone.
Vallaud-Belkacem added that there was a similar uproar when France backed civil marriages for gay couples 14 years ago, though this has since been accepted. She added that parliament will consult widely on the issue and they will debate it before deciding anything.
The BBC notes that protesters against the gay marriage bill in Paris wore pink T-shirts and scarves. They also carried pink balloons with images of a man and woman holding two children’s hands. Marthe Vignault, a protester, stated:
“A child needs a father and a mother, he needs the paternal and the maternal side and with this bill that might not be possible anymore. That’s the way it is and we can’t go against nature.”
There were also counter-rallies taking place across France that supported same sex marriage. The head of the French Council of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Andre Trois, vehemently opposes the new legislation, calling gay marriage “the ultimate deceit.”
The current law in France only allows married couples, not civil union partners, to adopt. If the bill passes in France, then the country will join other European nations like Sweden and the UK in allowing gay marriage and adoption.