Tens of thousands rally in France to back marriage equality

Agence France-Presse
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December 17, 2012
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Tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out in France on Sunday to show support for the government's plans to legalise gay marriage and adoption. Organisers said 150,000 people gathered in Paris at the Place de la Bastille for the "demonstration for equality". Police said 60,000 took part. They have called for another demo on January 27, two days before the French parliament is to debate the gay marriage bill. Several elected officials wearing their tri-coloured sashes could be seen alongside parents pushing strollers and children with multi-coloured balloons at Sunday's event. Carrying banners reading "Equal rights are not a threat" and "The right for all to choose", demonstrators urged the government to push ahead with the reform. "I think marriage is good for everyone!" said 10-year-old Arthur, at the rally with his eight-year-old sister Lola and their two mothers. One of them, Christelle, said it was unfortunate that the debate over gay marriage in France had turned ugly in recent months. "For the first time our children have experienced homophobia that shocked them," she said, adding that this only "makes me want to fight even harder for gay marriage".Several thousand people took to the streets of the southwestern city of Toulouse to protest homophobia and call for equal rights for gays.c