20,000 people protest gay marriage across France
Bordeaux and Lille see greatest number of campaigners march against President Hollande's equal marriage and adoption bill
Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of cities in France to protest against the government’s gay marriage and adoption plans.
Around 20,000 people joined marches across the country yesterday (9 December), with the western city of Bordeaux seeing 7,000 people turn up.
Lille in the north also saw several thousand people protest and, according to Sky News, picketers carried plackards with slogans reading: Daddy and Mummy: there’s nothing better for a child,’ and ‘We all came from a mother and father’.
Smaller pickets were also held in Reims, Nancy and Le Mans, while around 3,000 people turned out for counter protests in support for gay marriage.
The country has been split over the ‘marriage for everyone’ bill which would legalize same-sex marriage and adoption, with right-wingers and religious groups fiercely opposing it.
In 1999, roughly the same number of people came out to demonstrate against the French government’s plans to legalize same-sex and opposite-sex PACS civil unions. However these actions did not change the plans of the government.
In a recent poll, it was revealed 65% of French people back gay marriage, and 53% agree with adoption by same-sex couples.
A gay marriage bill is expected to pass in early 2013.