Huge Parisian Protests Against Gay Marriage Plans

News Brief – Jan 14, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris Sunday to demonstrate against government plans to legalise gay marriage.
Some estimates put the number of those involved at nearly half a million. While protest organisers put the figure at 800,000.
Whatever the actual figure, the march was one of the biggest protests Paris has seen in recent years. It also represents a groundswell of popular opposition to President François Hollande’s plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption by June.
Public support for President Holland’s plan is rapidly diminishing. Polls show about 50 percent of French voters support gay marriage, down from 65 percent in August, while less than half now support the granting of adoption rights to homosexuals.
A broad cross section of groups participated in the protest. Although the overwhelming number of participants who came in from middle-class Parisian suburbs were adressed by traditional Catholic clergymen, they also listened to orthodox Christian, Jewish and Muslim speakers.
Many marchers carried pink and blue balloons and painted pink and blue matchstick men and women on their cheeks to symbolise their demand that marriage and parenthood should be limited to traditional male-female couples.
The protest caused severe disruptions to transport and forced the closure of metro stations as protesters streamed into Paris by bus, car and specially reserved high-speed train.

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