Holding aloft ancient flags and young children, hundreds of thousands of people converged Sunday on the Eiffel Tower to protest the French president’s plan to legalize gay marriage and thus allow same-sex couples to adopt and conceive children.
The opposition to President Francois Hollande’s plan has underscored divisions among the secular-but-Catholic French, especially more traditional rural areas versus urban enclaves. But while polls show the majority of French still support legalizing gay marriage, that backing gets more lukewarm when children come into play.
The protest march started at three points across Paris, filling boulevards throughout the city as demonstrators walked three miles to the grounds of France’s most recognizable monument. Paris police estimated the crowd at 340,000, making it one of the largest demonstrations in Paris since an education protest in 1984.
“This law is going to lead to a change of civilization that we don’t want,” said Philippe Javaloyes, a literature teacher who was bused in with 300 people from Franche Comte in the far east. “We have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father.”
Public opposition spearheaded by religious leaders has chipped away at the popularity of Mr. Hollande’s plan in recent months. About 52 percent of French favor legalizing gay marriage, according to a survey released Sunday, down from as high as 65 percent in August.
[…]Harlem Desir, the leader of Mr. Hollande’s Socialist Party, said the protest would not affect the proposal’s progress. The Socialists control parliament, and a vote is expected by the end of January.
“The right to protest is protected in our country, but the Socialists are determined to give the legal right to marry and adopt to all those who love each other,” he said. “This is the first time in decades in our country that the right and the extreme right are coming into the streets together to deny new rights to the French.”
Isn’t interesting that the same political party that loves high tax rates also wants to redefine traditional marriage? Why is that?
New podcast featuring Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse discussing marriage and family. You can skip through the first 5 minutes because it’s just introductory. This is a great interview – highly recommended! There is a fair amount of Catholic stuff in the interview, so be forewarned. The interviewer just goes through some of her essays and asks her about them.
When I hear a woman who has this much of an understanding about what marriage is about and what forces are arrayed against marriage, it just makes me want to run out and get married, because she makes it sound so interesting that I want to try it out and see if everything she says is really true. She has such a good understanding of who her opponents are and what they think and what they are trying to accomplish. A very serious woman.