The rally’s were held on Sunday in the two cities as the French parliament prepares to debate same-sex marriage. Last year France’s new socialist president Francois Hollande announced his plans to allow gay and lesbian couples in the country to marry bringing France in line with neighbours such as Belgium and Spain which already has same-sex marriage.
The move towards marriage equality has divided the politicians some of whom oppose it on religious grounds. The rally’s in Paris and Lyons come after a anti-gay marriage last weekend in Champs-de-Mars in which an estimated 400,000 people took part. Organisers of that March though were handed the €100,000 clear up costs by the cities gay mayor.
Figures of how many people took part in Sunday’s marriage equality rally’s differ depending on sources. The official organisers state that 400,000 people attended while police figures are much lower at 125,000 but third party sources claim around 250,000 people attended.
As in many countries opinion polls continue to put public support for gay marriage as being in the majority. But equally as in other countries opponents of marriage equality – especially the religious opponents – and proving they are a vocal minority. Francis Hollande has previously admitted that his opponents on the issue were “tough” to deal with.
European countries which currently allow gay and lesbian couples to marry include Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. Countries such as the UK, Finland, Luxemburg and Germany have indicated they are likely to introduce marriage equality within the next few years.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick, source Pink News]