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France: Wave of anti-gay marriage protesters flood Paris00:50

France: Wave of anti-gay marriage protesters flood Paris

France, Paris
May 26, 2013 at 17:34 GMT +00:00 · Published

France: Wave of anti-gay marriage protesters flood Paris

Hundreds of thousands of anti-same-sex marriage protesters swamped central Paris on Sunday in the wake of a law allowing same-sex marriage coming into force the previous week. The traditionally Catholic country remains polarised after Presidents Francois Hollande's Socialist government passed the law giving equal rights to same-sex couples on May 18. Protesters converged in Paris's Esplanade des Invalides after processions streamed in from starting points at Porte Dauphine, Place Valhubert and Porte de Saint-Cloud.

Some 4,500 police have been deployed, with French authorities preparing for potential clashes between police and far-right groups such as rising radical movement Printemps Francais. Despite Interior Minister Manuel Valls warning against bringing children to the march, many families joined the crowd as in previous protests.

Figure-head of the movement, comedian Frigide Barjot, greeted the masses of protesters flooding the capital from other areas, but stayed away from the rally itself after allegedly receiving death threats. The threats are believed to eminate from far-right groups rejecting her denouncement of far-right historian Dominique Venner's recent suicide in Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.

Ahead of the march, around 50 anti-gay marriage activists were arrested on Sunday after chaining themselves to barriers and firing smoke carristers in the Champs Elysee. France is the 14th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, with its first gay marriage is expected to take place on Wednesday May 29 in the sounthern city of Montpellier.

France: Wave of anti-gay marriage protesters flood Paris00:50
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France: Wave of anti-gay marriage protesters flood Paris

Hundreds of thousands of anti-same-sex marriage protesters swamped central Paris on Sunday in the wake of a law allowing same-sex marriage coming into force the previous week. The traditionally Catholic country remains polarised after Presidents Francois Hollande's Socialist government passed the law giving equal rights to same-sex couples on May 18. Protesters converged in Paris's Esplanade des Invalides after processions streamed in from starting points at Porte Dauphine, Place Valhubert and Porte de Saint-Cloud.

Some 4,500 police have been deployed, with French authorities preparing for potential clashes between police and far-right groups such as rising radical movement Printemps Francais. Despite Interior Minister Manuel Valls warning against bringing children to the march, many families joined the crowd as in previous protests.

Figure-head of the movement, comedian Frigide Barjot, greeted the masses of protesters flooding the capital from other areas, but stayed away from the rally itself after allegedly receiving death threats. The threats are believed to eminate from far-right groups rejecting her denouncement of far-right historian Dominique Venner's recent suicide in Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral.

Ahead of the march, around 50 anti-gay marriage activists were arrested on Sunday after chaining themselves to barriers and firing smoke carristers in the Champs Elysee. France is the 14th country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage, with its first gay marriage is expected to take place on Wednesday May 29 in the sounthern city of Montpellier.