Supporters of traditional marriage expect hundreds of thousands of marchers to turn out for an upcoming national rally in opposition to President Francois Hollande's “marriage for all” proposal.
Set to go before France's parliament Jan. 29, the draft law proposes to
redefine marriage as a union “contracted between two persons of
different sex or of the same sex.”
The law would also allow “married” same-sex couples to adopt children
while also replacing gender definitive titles such as “Mother” or
“Father” with “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.”
Some opponents of the proposal say doing so would strip society of
sexual differences and would create framework for a “new anthropological
order” based on sexual preference rather than unique “sexual
otherness.” Opponents also say the move would deny children the
biological right of having a mother and father, and that the proposal
should have been presented as a referendum to the people.
“La Manif Pour Tous” or “March For All,” a demonstration organized by
French satirist Frigide Barjot – whose real name is Virginie Télenne –
drew tens of thousands of supporters in the regional demonstrations held
throughout France in November and December.
A modest estimate for the first national rally to be held Jan. 13 is
projected to draw some 350,000 supporters, one of the organizers, Lionel
Lumbroso, told CNA Jan. 4.
“The bigger we are, the more difficult it will be for the government to ignore us,” he said.
Although the “vast majority of the base is Catholic” and founder
Frigide Barjot is a Catholic re-convert, Lumbroso said that the movement
represents a much greater diversity of the French people because people
of different faiths and political beliefs are coming together for a
“That’s an aspect that’s striking to our movement,” Lumbroso, who
pointed out that he is an Agnostic of Jewish descent, said. “We have had
the distinct feeling of working toward national re-cohesion.”
For this reason, all those involved must carry only banners only
bearing “La Manif Pour Tous” slogans or logos and are encouraged to wear
blue, white or pink – a spin on France's colors of blue, white and red.
“What we’re seeing is we’re uniting through republican values,” he said.
The group plans to march along three different routes until they converge on the Champs de Mars to meet under the Eiffel Tower.
Controversy grew as Presidente Hollande voiced support for education
minister Vincent Pallion's letter that warned Catholic schools not to
discuss same-sex marriage, reminding them that they are “under contract
with the state” and “must respect the principle that everyone has a
right to free thought,” The Connexion reported Jan. 7.
Pallion's letter comes after Secretary of Catholic Education, Eric
Labarre, wrote a letter to Catholic school leaders suggesting they
organize discussions about gay marriage.
Demonstration organizer Barjot has called on the debate to be open “everywhere and in all schools,” the AFP reported.
Although the group has rallied in favor of traditional marriage, they
are adamant in opposing homophobia – a charge that many in favor of the
president’s proposal have brought against them.
Lumbroso said the movement is not about opposing gay individuals, but
rather about preserving “institutions that bring structure to our