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France: Anti-gay marriage protests staged as Senate debates bill

April 4, 2013
Hull Minster Electric Fence

The striking installation is in the entrance to the Minster (Image: Hull City of Culture)

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.

President Hollande’s government gave its formal approval to the bill last November.

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.

The lower house approved the legislation in February – with 329 Assembly Members voting in favour of the bill and 229 against – a majority of 100 votes.

More: equal marriage, Europe, France, France, French government, French Senate, gay marriage, gay weddings, marriage, marriage equality, Paris, protests, Reuters, same sex marriage

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