Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Police arrest S. Korea ferry captain for negligence

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • In Prijedor, survivors fight to keep memory alive

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

France

‘Non’ to anti-gay marriage march on Champs Elysées

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-03-15

Police in the French capital Paris have refused to allow opponents to the country’s gay marriage bill to demonstrate on the city’s famed Champs-Elysées citing security concerns. France’s Senate is due to vote on the proposed law in early April.

As France’s divisive gay marriage bill heads to the Senate in early April, police in Paris have refused to grant opponents to the proposed law the right to march on the capital’s historic Champs Elysées, highlighting security reasons.

The legislation, which redefines marriage as a contract between two people rather than between a man and a woman, cleared a major parliamentary hurdle last month after it was approved by a clear majority in France’s National Assembly. Despite that, opponents to the bill have not given up hope of reversing its progress, calling for mass protests on the Champs Elysées on March 24.

Police in Paris, however, have denied protest organisers the authorisation to take to the world famous street, saying it posed a threat to “public order” in part because the Champs Elysée borders the presidential palace.

In a statement published on Thursday, the Paris police said that they had notified protest organisers in the past that a demonstration on the Champs Elysée was an “impossibility”.

“In order to ensure freedom of assembly, preserve public order and protect institutions, the police chief… invited the organisers to get in touch with its services to study possible alternative routes, which was not done,” the statement read.

Protesters dismiss police

Organisers of the protest have dismissed the police’s stance on the issue, insisting that they should be given the right to march on the Champs Elysées.

“We want a symbolic place that will allow the French public and the government to see that we exist en masse,” Frigide Barjot, a figurehead of the anti-gay marriage movement, told the Reuters news agency. “We’re going to continue talking to find a solution,” Barjot added.

The issue of gay marriage has proven to be hugely divisive in France, a country steeped in conservative Catholic values despite its global reputation as a progressive nation. According to a December 2012 survey by French polling centre IFOP for weekly newspaper Journal Du Dimanche, 60 percent of French people support gay marriage, but only 46 percent approve of same-sex adoption.

Legislators were forced to postpone plans to allow lesbians access to medically assisted procreation – something which is already available to heterosexual couples unable to conceive. A separate law on the issue will be debated later in the year.

The debate has sparked some of the country’s largest rallies in decades. The anti-gay marriage movement’s planned protest on March 24 was to be a last-ditch effort to demonstrate opposition to the bill before it is taken up by France’s left-leaning Senate on April 4, where it is largely expected to pass.

If approved, the reform will see France join 11 other countries including Spain, Sweden, South Africa and the Netherlands that have approved gay marriage.
 

Date created : 2013-03-15

  • FRANCE

    French parliament approves landmark gay marriage bill

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French gay-marriage bill clears first parliamentary vote

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France pledges marriage equality despite protests

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)