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France says ‘non’ to anti-gay marriage march

France says ‘non’ to anti-gay marriage march

French police have stopped an anti-gay marriage march from going ahead due to ‘security concerns’.

Opponents to the ‘Marriage for All’ bill, which would grant same-sex marriage and allow gay couples to adopt, had hoped to march on Paris’ historic Champs Élysées on 24 March, France 24 reports.

A large majority in the National Assembly approved the bill last month, allowing it to head to the Senate in early April.

In a statement published yesterday (14 March), Paris police said: ‘In order to ensure freedom of assembly, preserve public order and protect institutions, the police chief… invited the organizers to get in touch with its services to study possible alternative routes, which was not done.’

Anti-gay campaigners were furious, and said they should have the right to march on the famous street.

‘We want a symbolic place that will allow the French public and the government to see that we exist en masse,’ Frigide Bariot, an anti-marriage equality campaigner told Reuters news agency.

Nicolas Gougain, spokesperson for the Inter-LGBT association, described the opponents of marriage equality as a  ‘product of unapologetic homophobia in France … largely driven by fear and doubt, something which the opposition is good at aggravating’.

He said: ‘Some of those people believe that giving homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals will destabilise society.

‘Or that homosexual parents are potentially dangerous for their children’.

The protest was going to be joined on 24 March by opponents of the ‘Marriage for All’ bill in London, intending to march at Trafalgar Square.