Paris: Groups opposing President Francois Hollande`s plan to legalize gay marriage and adoption took to the streets across France Sunday.
Hollande said he would enact his "marriage for everyone" plan within a year of coming to power in May, but vocal opposition from religious leaders, some politicians and parts of rural France has divided the country.
Today`s protest, called the "March for Everyone," included pro-family and Catholic groups. Several thousand people marched in Paris, carrying signs with slogans such as "One child (equals) one father + one mother."
Their final destination was the Invalides monument, the final resting place of Napeolon Bonaparte, the French leader who invented the country`s prized civil code, which is still in force today. It states that marriage is a union between a man and a woman, a point the gay marriage bill seeks to overturn. Another reform would be to replace the entries in a child`s registry book from "father" and "mother" to "parent 1" and "parent 2."
Elsewhere, France`s largest demonstrations, estimated to be several thousand people strong, took place in Toulouse and France`s second city, Lyon.
The marches today had a dress code of blue, white and pink, putting a spin on the French tricolore flag`s traditional colors of blue, white and red.
A recent survey found that most French favor gay marriage, while support for adoption by gay couples hovers at around 50 per cent.