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Several hundred thousand due in Paris to protest gay marriage

Published on Jan 13, 2013 7:24 AM
Militants stick on Jan. 11, 2013 posters on a billboard in the French western city of Nantes, advertising for the national demonstration to be held in Paris on Jan. 13 against the legalisation of gay marriage. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - Several hundred thousand people are expected to march through Paris on Sunday against the planned legalisation of same-sex marriage in the first mass protest against the unpopular President Francois Hollande.

Strongly backed by the Catholic hierarchy, lay activists have mobilised a hybrid coalition of church-going families, political conservatives, Muslims, evangelicals and even homosexuals opposed to gay marriage for the show of force.

So many are expected to converge on Paris from around France that police had organisers split it into three separate columns starting from different points around the city and meeting in the Champ de Mars park at the Eiffel Tower.

Frigide Barjot, an eccentric comedian leading the so-called"Demo for All," insists the protest is pro-marriage rather than anti-gay and has banned all but its approved banners saying a child needs a father and a mother to develop properly. "We're all born of a man and a woman, but the law will say the opposite tomorrow," she said last week. "It will say a child is born of a man and a man."

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