Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Protest over gay marriage laws

Anti-gay marriage protesters gather during a demonstation against French president Francois Hollande's social reform, in Paris (AP)
Anti-gay marriage demonstrators wave flags and chant slogans during a protest in Paris (AP)
Anti-gay marriage demonstrators waving flags and chanting slogans protest in Paris (AP)

Tens of thousands of people have protested against France's new gay marriage law in central Paris.

The law came into force over a week ago, but organisers decided to go ahead with the long-planned demonstration to show their continued opposition as well as their frustration with President Francois Hollande, who had made legalising gay marriage one of his keynote campaign pledges in last year's election.

Marchers set off from three separate points across Paris, and by early Sunday evening they filled the Invalides esplanade just across the Seine River from the Champs Elysees.

Police estimated around 150,000 people took part in the demonstration, but march organisers claimed on their Twitter account that more than one million people did.

A similar protest in March drew about 300,000.

Around 5,000 police were on duty because previous anti-gay marriage protests saw clashes between far-right protesters and the police.

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