March 11, 2014
French conservatives march against 'family-phobic' gay marriage
Over 100,000 conservative French have marched through Paris and Lyon accusing the government of "family-phobia" for legalising gay marriage and other planned policies they say will harm traditional families.
The marchers, expressing growing frustration with the unpopular left-wing government, denounced new sex equality lessons in schools and urged the government not to legalise medical procedures to help same-sex couples have children.
Most demonstrators were middle-class families, some pushing little children in prams, posing no apparent risk of violent confrontation with the police that Interior Minister Manuel Valls had said would be dealt with severely.
The government of President Francois Hollande, suffering poll ratings near record lows, has delayed further social reforms until after next month's municipal elections following massive protests against legalising same-sex marriage last year.
One Paris protester, Severine Chevrier, said: "Mr Hollande doesn't listen to us or want to talk to us (and) Mr Valls ... will do everything to shut us up."
"We have the same message (as last year), we just want it to be heard," said Michel Girard, also marching in the capital. "It's the defence of children and the family."