France: Anti-gay marriage protests staged as Senate debates bill
Protests have taken place in Paris as France’s Senate now debates the country’s proposed equal marriage bill.
On Thursday hundreds of protesters waving flags with the words “Jobs, not gay marriage” gathered near the Senate under drizzling rain, surrounded by riot police trucks.
Reuters reports the demonstrations, which were not on the scale of last month’s Palm Sunday rally, have been largely peaceful so far.
In March, around 300,000 same-sex marriage opponents took part in a huge rally in Paris, it turned ugly when a small group tried to reach the Champs Elysees and tear gas was deployed.
The Senate will debate France’s equal marriage bill until 12 April.
The embattled French leader’s socialist party, whose popularity has plunged since taking office amid a sluggish economy, only has a slim majority in the Senate.
A poll by TNS Sofres published on Thursday showed only 27% of the French supported the president’s policies.
However, despite loud opposition, the bill is expected to pass in the Senate thanks to backing by Socialists and allies.