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France: Renewed protest against gay marriage draws thousands

Thousands gather to protest same-sex marriage laws
Thousands gather to protest same-sex marriage laws
Photo courtesy of CNN

In a city that that is known globally as a romantic season, Paris was the setting of a different sort of passion on Sunday (Jan. 28). According to Reuters on Feb. 2, demonstrators began gathering in both Paris and Lyon as part of a renewed protest against the legalization of gay marriage in the country.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to join the marches, organized by “Demonstration for All”, a right-wing umbrella group created in response to the passing of the gay marriage law in 2013.

The group is leading the protest against the Socialists government’s “Marriage for All” law. Not only that, they are also protesting rumors of an “Equality ABC” program to be introduced to French elementary schools that would teach small children gender theory and also speculation of plans to increase access to medically associated procreation and surrogacy for gay couples.

Although President Francois Hollande’s government dismissed the surrogacy plan, there is still outrage from those who support traditional marriage and family. An outrage that has created even more tension in a county in economic crisis at a time that has also seen a rise in racist incidents and anti-gay violence.

To counter the protests, the city of Paris deployed 1,500 police officers and the city of Lyon, some 600 police officers were deployed in an attempt to keep the protests under control. Interior Minister Manuel Valls promised severe punishment for any acts of violence against police officers in both cities.

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