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Thousands protest gay marriage bill in French capital

 
 
 
 
 
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Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets in Paris to protest a planned legalization of same-sex marriage on January 13, 2013.

Thousands of the French have staged a demonstration in the capital, Paris, in a last-ditch effort to block a controversial bill on gay marriage.

Opponents of gay marriage took to the streets in Paris on Sunday, carrying French flags and pink and blue banners which represented the colors of the Demo for All group, the spearhead of the movement against the legislation.

“We’re here for children’s rights. We don’t want the state to be complicit in a child being deprived of a father or a mother,” said a French woman during the event.

The French parliament is expected to pass the first article of the bill, which allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, on April 23. The upper house of the French parliament approved the first article by 179 votes against 157 on April 9.

The legislation is hugely controversial as the country is mainly Catholic, although, it is officially secular.

France has experienced huge protests against the same-sex marriage bill, including a rally on March 24, where police attacked thousands of participants with tear gas and batons.

Polls show that French people are mostly against a legal permission for same-sex couples to adopt children.

French churches have also condemned the bill, calling gay marriage “a sham” that would “shake one of the foundations of our society.”

However, President Francois Hollande has promised to throw his weight behind the bill as the proposed legislation was one of his presidential campaign promises.

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