More than 100,000 march against gay marriage in France
PARIS (AFP) - French opponents of same-sex marriage and adoption staged their first major protests on Saturday, rallying more than 100,000 people nationwide as police used tear gase against counter-demonstrators in one city.
Wearing pink scarves and T-shirts and carrying pink balloons with the image of a man and woman holding two children's hands, demonstrators marched against plans by the socialist government to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.
Demonstrators rallied under slogans such as "Pro-marriage, not anti-gay" and "Long live the true family". And a Catholic humorist who goes by the name of "Frigide Barjot" opened the Paris protest. "This is a great movement that is being launched," she told the crowd through a megaphone.
"We are born from a man and a woman. A child is the result of a man and a woman's orgasm. The problem for us is the end of civil marriage for everyone." Some 70,000 people joined the Paris rally, police said - though organisers put the figure at 200,000 - while more than 30,000 others held similar protests in towns around the country.