Reports of up to 340,000 people in France turned up to an anti-gay marriage protest in the country’s capital, Paris.
Reports may vary on the number of people who attended the protest, 300,000 from the Daily Mail, 120,000 from Pinknews, but the message is clear, and loud from the French population, they aren’t happy about marriage equality for the gay community or about gay people adopting children. Official reports from the police suggest that 340,000 people turned up at the protest. Organisers of the La Manif Pour Tous (Demo For All) protest had hoped for a turn up of 800,000.
The massive turn out was in response to President Hollande’s plans to allow gay marriages in France.
However organisers of the protest say they were ‘pro marriage’ and not anti gay. Hollande promised during his campaign last year to give full marriage rights to same-sex couples. But the “marriage for all” bill has been met with stronger-than-expected opposition, especially in rural areas.
It is reported that 5 speed trains from around the country and up-to 1000 coaches were hired to bring people to the ‘Demo for All.’
The president has angered same-sex marriage opponents by avoiding public debate on the reform, which Justice Minister Christiane Taubira described as “a change in civilization,” and wavering about some of its details.
Over 2,000 mayors have signed a petition asking to be exempted from officiating at gay weddings if, as expected, the legislation passes.
The protest happens days after YouGov announced that a majority of people in several European countries believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to get married and adopt children, but in France the public is divided on same-sex marriage and a slim majority (51%) are against allowing gay couples to adopt. The findings come ahead of an expected rally this weekend in France against the government’s plans to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.