340,000 Join March Against Marriage Equality At Eiffel Tower

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The City of Lights became a little less romantic for the LGBT community: Hundreds of thousands of protestors amassed at the Eiffel Tower on Sunday for a march against the government’s proposed marriage-equality legislation.

Protests have been going on throughout the country since French President Francois Hollande swore to legalize same-sex marriage. Though organizers at the Paris rally boasted of some 800,000 participants, police estimates put the number at 340,000, which still makes it one of the largest demonstrations in recent Paris history.  (A smaller counter-demonstration attracted several thousand nearby.)

“The French are tolerant, but they are deeply attached to the family and the defense of children,” said Daniel Liechti of the National Council of French Evangelicals.

Liechti and other gay-marriage opponents claim same-sex marriage would harm children: “We have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father,” said another demonstrator.

President Hollande has promised to put forth the legislation, which would also allow gay couples to adopt, by June. Polls show support for marriage equality slipping in France, with only 55% supporting it now—compared to 65% in August.

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  • 2eo

    France population: 65.3 million.

    Halfwits on march: 340,000

    Total percentage of halfwits: 0.52%


  • PolishBear

    Yes, the Catholic Church is politically powerful in France, and they certainly know how to rally their troops. But the fact remains that 52% of the French public still support marriage equality for Gay couples.

    And why not? Why is it that Straight couples should be encouraged to date, get engaged, marry, and build lives and families together in the context of monogamy and commitment, and that this is a GOOD thing … but for Gay couples to do exactly the same is somehow a BAD thing? That’s a pretty poor value judgment.

    Liberté, égalité, fraternité!

  • avesraggiana

    In a land when children know that their father keeps a mistress, where wives endure the sexual infidelity of their husbands in impeccable dress and dutiful grace, this is awfully fresh of them to insist that families mean “un pere et une mere”.

    “Merde de vache!”, I say.

  • alexoloughlin

    @2eo: @2eo: The actual police estimate is really laughable, not even nearly the 800,000 they’d been anticipating and even if it had reached that amount, it still would be laughable and hardly representative of the entire country.

  • Daniel-Reader

    So, they are harming gay children as well as the children of gay people. They don’t want gay people reproducing and want the offspring of gay people excluded from protection. That means quite plainly the demonstrators are guilty of the crime of genocide.

  • Eric Auerbach

    @2eo: @alexoloughlin: That would be a compelling argument, if only 340,000 weren’t at least twice as many people as took part in the largest pro-gay-marriage march in France so far.

  • 2eo

    @Eric Auerbach: That statistic is meaningless, the fact is that a lobby for equal rights for a minority is an issue of equality and a human right and the people trying to stop it are pathetically few.

    Ergo it’s completely intellectually applicable to describe the 99% of the population of France as not giving a shit, ergo it should pass as it doesn’t affect anyone other than being another measure in creating an equal society.

    Hooray for actual analysis.

  • stamrick

    @PolishBear: Actually they call it selfishness because religion encourages people to be selfish

    to me, i was expecting that since France is now full of Catholics and Muslims and yeah they hate gay people. but what i didn’t expect is that gay community in France did not response to that at all, if they want their freedom they have to fight for it.

  • alexoloughlin

    @Eric Auerbach: Skew it however you wish, 0.52% against is miniscule. The environs around Paris have an additional 8+ million people> Add that to the 2.5 million living in Paris proper, it’s not a huge number by any stretch of the imagination. Many of them could have driven into town, taken the bus or train but they didn’t, cold weather notwithstanding. Bigots don’t let bad weather dampen their spirits or their intentions. There have been far more demonstrators on the streets of Paris in national strikes. Note that this one couldn’t even get an inflated number of 800,000 and even then, it’s not huge for the entire population as a whole.

  • Sohobod

    I am so shocked at the number of people. I live in Britain, which is just a few miles away, but you would NEVER get that number of people against G marriage. Even if many people were against the idea – there is a ‘live and let live’ attitude that is so opposed to making a stand against…. like I said, I’m shocked. France is much more like America than I thought. Thank god for the channel.

  • Brian

    The notion that France is open-minded is pure garbage. There’s a lot of religious fundamentalists over there, and it’s getting worse with the introduction of more and more Muslims.

  • Eric Auerbach


    God you’re an idiot.

  • hephaestion

    A million Frenchmen pour into the streets to protest everything at the drop of a hat. And 55% of the French support marriage equality. Unfortunately, because the French ARE generally more tolerant of homosexuality than Americans they have never had a serious gay rights movement there. So they have a lot of people who are utterly clueless about homosexuality there aside from the fact that they all accept that it exists and is no big deal. This makes them vulnerable to idiots who try to whack them over the head with lies about needing one mother & one father.

    And avesraggiana is correct: it is hilarious that they’d be so righteous about “one mom, one dad” when every day there has a mistress. France is a wonderful country but men do whatever the fuck they please there. Women do not.

  • kodienyc

    We’re still suffering from the premature ending of the French Revolution. How sad France is today in many respects compared to what it was at the height of the Revolution, when the Revolutionaries knocked down 500,000 churches, synagogues, and mosques with the wrecking ball and gave church officials the option to be shot, deported, or to become secular state functionaries. As an American who has lived in France, I can also say that France is definitely becoming more and more like the U.S., with the same neoconservative ultraright forces present there as here. With regard to France’s gay rights movement, I think what’s important is not that France’s gay justice movement was not serious (consider the Front Homosexuel d’Action Revolutionnaire and the specific support for gay persons from the May ’68 movement), but rather that in France as here, a gay justice movement no longer exists.

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