Organizers insist they are not homophobic.
Nearly 500,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Paris, France, to protest a new law the Socialist government plans to enact this year that would give gay couples the right to marry and adopt. The BBC reports,
[T]he demonstrators, backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, argue it would undermine an essential building block of society … The “Demo for all” event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the “crowd is immense” and told French TV that gay marriage “makes no sense” because a child should be born to a man and woman.
France currently allows civil unions between same-sex couples, but not marriage or adoption. Francois Hollande, the new president made the pledge to extend these rights to same-sex couples as part of his presidential campaign. Political opponents such as Jean-Francois Cope, the president of the centre-right UMP said the rally and opposition to the new law will be a “test” for the new president. He said there are “clearly millions of French people who are probably concerned by this reform.” Cope is joined in the opposition by the far-right National Front, but its leader Marine Le Pen chose to stay away from the protest stating that the issue of same-sex marriage is a “diversion by politicians from France’s real problems.”
Although the march and the opposition it represents are supported by the Church and far right political parties, the organizers stress the movement is neither political nor is it religious. They also insist it is not directed against homosexuals in any way.
An opinion poll published by Le Nouvel Observateur over the weekend said that 56 percent of French citizens support legislation to legalize gay marriage, but that 50 percent of the same people polled do not approve of gay adoption. Of those polled, 52 percent did not approve of the Church’s stance against the legislation.