More than 70,000 people have protested against marriage equality plans in France.
In Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Marseille and other French cities yesterday (17 November), Catholic religious leaders led thousands of people in a protest against same-sex marriage and adoption.
As reported by the BBC, many protestors wore pink t-shirts and scarves and carried pink balloons with images of a man and woman holding two children’s hands.
One protestor Marthe Vignault said: ‘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.’
French President Francois Hollande supported in bringing in marriage equality legislation in October, calling the policy ‘marriage for everyone’. The bill is expected to pass in early 2013.
France is also considering removing gendered language in the parenting of children in its civil code, changing ‘mother’ and ‘father’ to ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’.
Calling their protest the ‘March for Everyone’, the anti-gay protestors demanded the government drop the bill.
However there were also several protestors fighting for gay rights this weekend, with some holding signs saying ‘Love is love’.
France’s leading Roman Catholic bishop Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois has urged Christians to fight against the planned reforms, urging them to take to the streets.
‘The presidential and legislative elections earlier this year did not give them carte blanche, especially not for reforms that very profoundly affect the equilibrium of our society,’ the cardinal said.
Gay rights groups have also criticized the bill for not including medical assisted procreation, such as insemination for lesbian couples.
However President Hollande has said there could be alterations to the law as it goes through parliament.