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Largest Paris Protest Since 1984 Is Against (Not For) Same-Sex Marriage

(UPDATED) Suicide at Notre Dame Cathedral protests France's legalizing of same-sex marriage.

Update (May 21): In protest of France legalizing same-sex marriage this past weekend, a French historian and essayist committed suicide today at the altar of Paris's famed Notre Dame Cathedral.

Meanwhile, Le Observateur notes a rising movement of young French Catholics opposing same-sex marriage in more vocal ways.


Update (April 24): French legislators voted yesterday to approve President Francois Hollande's plan to legalize gay marriage, but opponents have already appealed the bill to the country's Constitutional Court.

The Court will decide by May 25 whether or not the law is constitutional.


French President François Hollande says his plan to expand same-sex rights by June will continue–in spite of the massive protest that converged upon the Eiffel Tower this past weekend.

Hundreds of thousands gathered to decry Hollande's plan to legalize same-sex marriage and adoptions by same-sex couples, one of the promises Hollande made while campaigning for election last year. Although France is famously secular and already allows same-sex civil unions, protesters argued that the president's proposal "would hurt children."

"The French are tolerant," Daniel Liechti, vice-president of the National Council of French Evangelicals, told Reuters, "but they are deeply attached to the family and the defense of children."

The protest was organized by "a coalition of religious groups, conservative citizen's initiatives and political opposition parties," noted Der Spiegel. But the entire movement was also "backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, (who) argue it would undermine an essential building block of society," noted the BBC.

Protest organizers aimed to draw 300,000, but "Paris police estimated the crowd at 340,000, making it one of the largest demonstrations in Paris since an education protest in 1984."

CT has regularly reported on France, including Hollande's recent plan to create a government-run secularism agency and the shortage of worship spaces faced by a rise of evangelical congregations in Paris.

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