Nearly 1.5 million proponents of traditional marriage gathered Sunday on Paris’ famous thoroughfare, the Champs-Elysées, to protest the French government’s plans to legalize same-sex marriage.
The demonstration came as America’s own high court prepared this week to take up two gay marriage cases — one state and one federal — with gay marriage advocates calling the union a fundamental right. Many Parisians, meanwhile, have been saying non to the idea loud and clear.
When the venue for Sunday’s demonstration — the third protest in five months -– was first announced, the French government nixed it, according to LifeSiteNews. Police issued orders not to march on the Champs-Elysées, making the denial official with an emergency ruling issued on the Wednesday before the event.
“Frigide Barjot, the demonstration’s figurehead, had previously announced that even if access to the Champs-Elysées were to be forbidden the March would go there all the same,” the LifeSiteNews story said. And it did.
When Parisian police realized that the march would proceed despite orders to the contrary, they estimated the potential crowd at 100,000. But about 1.4 million demonstrators showed up.
Despite the demonstrations, the French government is proceeding with plans to allow same-sex marriage, with legislation spearheaded by Socialist President Francois Hollande.
“After a first reading at the National Assembly, it is scheduled to be discussed by the Senate in the beginning of April; second readings are expected and will take place if the Senate does not vote the text in identical terms,” LifeSiteNews reported.
The march didn’t turn out well for some of the protesters, however. Large numbers of demonstrators were sprayed with tear gas and beaten by police as they neared the presidential palace, according to the online news publication.
“Victims included children as young as 6 years old, elderly gentlemen, women of all ages, middle-aged priests and monks, and even a baby aged 10 months,” the LifeSiteNews story said.
The following clip shows a young girl after she was hit with tear gas. The notation at the end of the clip, “Manuel Valls demission,” refers to calls for the resignation of French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who publicly congratulated law enforcement officers for their “professionalism and cool-headedness” after the demonstration.
Read more at LifeSiteNews.
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