Saturday 25 October 2014
CONTACT | RSS
ABOUT | CATEGORIES | PAGINATED INDEX
Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
About
A writer, blogger, and historian, born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, now based in London. read more
News
Blogs
Reviews & Periodicals
Church
Arts & Design
Scotland
Africa
Cape of Good Hope
France
Netherlands
Mitteleuropa
Scandinavia
Muscovy
India
Argentina
The Levant
Knickerbockers
Academica

France Marches for Marriage

Led by a provocative comedian, a gay atheist, and a socialist teacher, protest against same-sex marriage draws one million

As many as a million protesters descended upon Paris from every corner of France today to demonstrate their opposition to the Socialist government’s plans to introduce same-sex civil marriage. The Prefecture of Police estimates at least 380,000 participated in the three marches from different starting points that converged at the Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower. Organisers, however, set up counting stations and claim that, by 7:30pm tonight, over one million protestors had joined the march.

Volunteers charted more than eight hundred vehicles to bring protestors to Paris, while six TGV high-speed trains were reserved for demonstrators. “Had the conditions for chartering trains not been as stringent,” an organiser told Le Figaro “the number could easily have been double.”

“In the freezing cold,” Le Figaro reports, “young, old, and families with children were trying to keep warm waving thousands of pink flags to the jerky rhythm of techno music.”

The entire workforce of the Directorate of Public Order & Traffic was called out to handle the massive demonstration, which forced a Paris Saint-Germain football match to be brought forward. Police believed it would be impossible to secure the area around the Parc des Princes stadium when hundreds of thousands of protesters were expected in the centre of the French capital.

The protest today was organised by the eccentric comedian Frigide Barjot, founder of the Collectif pour l’humanité durable, joined by gay atheist Xavier Bongibault of the association Plus gay sans mariage (“More Gay Without Marriage”), and Laurence Tcheng of La gauche pour le mariage républicaine (“The Left for Republican Marriage”).

The unlike troika claim to have launched “a guerrilla war” against the current Socialist Party government’s proposed same-sex civil marriage legislation. Avoiding the mainstream media, ‘Team Barjot’ went direct to supporters through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and, countering the government’s branding of same-sex civil marriage as “Mariage pour tous”, named their protest “Le Manif Pour Tous” (‘The Protest for All’), asserting that all children have a right to a mother and father.

If opinion polls are to be believed, the campaign against the proposed law seems to be changing perceptions. From 2000 to 2011, polls showed a steady rise in support for same-sex marriage. In 2012, this percentage began to decline; support for allowing same-sex couples to adopt also fell. Meanwhile, polls claim that 69% prefer same-sex marriage be put to a referendum.

The three marches organised by Le Manif Pour Tous began at separate meeting points before they converged on the Champs de Mars.

The Institut ‘Civitas’ organised a fourth march on its own initiative.

“I need a dad and a mom!”

Frigide Barjot (right) warms up the demonstrators alongside disability campaigner Tugdual Derville.

Some of the buildings along the protest routes featured banners supporting the demonstration.

Previously: The Pope in Paris

This post was published on Sunday, January 13th, 2013 10:30 pm. It has been categorised under France Politics and been tagged under , , .
Comments
  1. Valeria Kondratiev
    17 January 2013
    7:20 pm

    I’m proud to say that this sea of people included some of my relatives too.

  2. 18 January 2013
    6:10 pm

    Great article. The pictures really tell the story.
    Translations of signs was helpful too.
    Thanks for sharing!

Leave a comment

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

Comment

Home | About | Contact | Categories | Paginated Index | Twitter | Facebook | RSS/Atom Feed
andrewcusack.com | © Andrew Cusack 2004-present (Unless otherwise stated)