Monday, April 22, 2013 by Reuters
Protesters shouting slogans in a protest march, in Paris, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Thousands of gay marriage opponents waving pink and blue flags marched through Paris yesterday in a last-ditch protest before a law allowing same-sex union and adoption is passed this week.
Chanting “We don’t want your law, Hollande!”, some 50,000 protesters massed behind a banner reading: “All born of a Mum and a Dad” and said it was undemocratic to bring about such a fundamental social change without holding a referendum.
Hastily organised after the law’s passage was sped up to circumvent a big rally set for late April, yesterday’s march capped months of protests by a dogged opposition movement that has sullied President Francois Hollande’s flagship social reform.
“We warned the President back in November that we would not give up and that we would do everything to stop this law being passed, or to get it repealed if it is adopted,” one of the organisers, Alberic Dumon, said.
Attended largely by families with children and old people, it was much more peaceful than a series of agitated demonstrations outside Parliament this month that saw hard-right youths pelt police with stones and bottles and damage cars.
The piggy-backing by hard-right youths of a movement led by conservatives and Catholics has fed other ugly scenes including the public stalking of government ministers and a spate of homophobic attacks around the country.
As far back as January, the “anti” movement came under fire when some 350,000 protesters massed under the Eiffel Tower tore up the lawns beneath the monument.