Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Paris protest against the country’s upcoming bill which would allow equal marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. Authorities previously estimated that on Sunday evening, 120,000 people took to the streets of Paris to protest, but have now placed the figure closer to 340,000. Organisers of the protest had estimated numbers at 800,000, many protesters coming in to Paris for the event, the BBC reports.
Demonstrators carried placards which read “We don’t want your law, Francois” and “Don’t touch my civil code”. Three big marches were converging on the Champs de Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower. The protest was organised by the centre right opposition, representatives of the Catholic Church, Muslim and Jewish groups.
French president Hollande has pledged to push through the law with his Socialists’ parliamentary majority but a campaign by opponents has dented public support and forced deputies to put off a plan to allow lesbian couples access to artificial insemination.
According to a recent poll by YouGov support for marriage equality is the lowest in France (51%) among the big European countries. Only 38% of French people want same-sex couples to be able to adopt. In Britain 55% support gay marriage and 53% are in favour of gay couples adopting kids. Sweden has the highest approval ratings for gay marriage (80%) and gay adoption (65%) across Europe.
Studies have shown that kids in same-sex families do just as well as their peers in straight families and countries like Sweden or The Netherlands where both gay marriage and adoption are legal since more than a decade are still growing and even doing better than countries without these basic rights in almost all regards.