Two straight women in France decided to protest an anti-gay marriage rally with a kiss.

The kiss shared by the two women as shocked protesters looked on was captured by AFP photographer Gerald Julien.

The Socialist government of Prime Minister Francois Hollande is expected to introduce its gay marriage bill to the French cabinet on November 7. The government pushed back the measure's introduction as it faced increasingly loud protests from religious leaders, including Pope Benedict XVI who called on Catholics in France to “defend marriage.”

Passage would make France the twelfth nation to legalize marriage equality.

Opponents staged a nationwide rally on Tuesday in 75 cities. The women protested the demonstration at a rally in the city of Marseille.

In an interview with French gay glossy Tetu, the two women said the kiss was a gesture of solidarity with gay and lesbian couples who cannot marry in France.

In a blog post at the AFP's website, photographer Julien discussed the symbolism: “This picture, it's like the story of the biter bit, a reversal of symbolism without their knowing it. Everyone has been surprised by this shot. The protesters were in shock!”