Manif pour Tous claim 500,000 hit Paris streets against “Supermarket Babies” for Gay Couples
Thousands of Manif pour Tous supporters gathered in Paris and Bordeaux on Sunday (October 5) to march against reported plans to extend medically-assisted pregnancy and surrogate motherhood rights to same-sex couples under an 18-month-old same sex marriage law to which they remain implacably opposed.
The organisers claimed some 500,000 marchers thronged the route from Porte Dauphine to Montparnasse in central Paris while police said the number was 70,000. A smaller demo took place at the same time in Bordeaux where organisers claimed a turnout of 30, 000 while police put the number at 7,500.
The ruling Socialist government has denied it is planning to extend gestation pour autrui-GPA and procréation médicalement assistée-PMA rights to same sex couples but, unconvinced about government statements, a number of leading parliamentarians and local government officials from the main opposition UMP party marched in the Paris protest. They were joined by a delegation from Marine le Pen’s Front National which is against GPA, PMA and the alleged teaching of gender theory in schools.
The gallery of photos below shows aspects of the Paris protest which, unlike earlier similar demonstrations where police used teargas against families on the march, passed off entirely peacefully.
A teaser video released ahead of the protests set out the aims of the movement which included demands to revoke the controversial same sex marriage legislation and all other “attacks on the institution of the traditional family”:
Twitter users were out in full stream for several hours:
— Le Monde (@lemondefr) October 5, 2014
— info (@encolere75) October 5, 2014
Here are some short Vine Clips by ANFAD an association that claims to offer independent news coverage of controversial events (a number of independent TV and internet-based organisations have sprung up in France offering image-based coverage of events to counter what they claim is ‘biased reporting’ by the main stream media).
Meanwhile Le Parisien reports the government spent the days before the demo redoubling efforts at showing it is ‘family-friendly’: “Over past three days, Government has multiplied efforts to clarify its family policy (in a bid to undermine) the protesters. Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Thursday reiterated his opposition to Surrogacy (GPA) and on Saturday Marisol Touraine, the Minister of Social Affairs noted that the government had considerably expanded benefits to small or single-parent families and created 25,000 childcare places. In an interview with Nouvelobs.com she said ‘family policy is one of the pillars of the French social model, and one we seek to strengthen’. “
Story: Ken Pottinger