Opponents of France's 2013 law
extending marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples staged a march
in Paris on Sunday, roughly six months before voters head to the
polls to elect a new president.
Organizers estimated the crowd at
200,000, while police said the number was closer to 24,000.
Demonstrators carried signs which read
“A father and a mother – it's hereditary” as they made their
way toward the Trocadero at the Eiffel Tower.
Led by Manif pour Tous (Protest
for All), the nation's leading opponent of marriage equality,
marchers also protested against changing laws that limit assisted
reproduction to heterosexual couples and ban surrogacy.
“I am against gay marriage and
against the crappy leaders who oppose the power of the people,”
Michel Delaune, a retired engineer who joined the protest.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy
is vying for his old job. In 2014, he was reelected as leader of the
center-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), which changed its
name to The Republicans the following year. While Sarkozy opposed
marriage equality during his tenure, in his recently published book,
La France Pour La Vie, he states that repealing the law is a
“cure worse than the disease.”