French conservatives march against government 'family-phobia'

Sun Feb 2, 2014 1:30pm EST
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By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - Over 100,000 conservative French marched through Paris and Lyon on Sunday accusing the government of "family-phobia" for legalizing 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 legalize 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 legalizing 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 defense of children and the family."


The protesters, many mobilized by Catholic groups and including some Muslims, warned the government not to legalize assisted reproduction for lesbians or make surrogate motherhood an option for gay males who want genetically related children.   Continued...

People wave trademark pink, blue and white flags during a protest march called, "La Manif pour Tous" (Demonstration for All) against France's legalisation of same-sex marriage and to show their support of traditional family values, in Paris February 2, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier