Tens of thousands protest same-sex marriage in France

Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Paris over the weekend in a massive march to protest France’s recently passed bill legalizing same-sex marriage.

Scuffles with police occurred during the weekend protest, with police deploying tear gas and arresting 100 people, including 50 who were blocking traffic on the famous Champs-Elysees, reports BBC News.

A large protest Sunday was mainly peaceful until the end, when a group of about 200 protestors — many of them masked — threw bottles and stones at police and shot off fireworks, reports The Independent.

Numbers on just how many protesters were present varied, with police saying there were up to 150,000 people and protest organizers saying there were as many as 1 million people involved.

The bill, which allows same-sex couples to marry and gives them the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples, passed in April and was signed into law by President Francois Hollande last week. Increased rights for same-sex couples continue to be a divisive issue in the country. Prior to the vote on the bill, right-leaning protesters staged some of the largest protests the country has seen in recent years.

The first same-sex marriage under the new law will take place Wednesday in the southern city of Montpellier, where Vincent Aubin, 40, and Bruno Boileau, 30, will marry in front of 600 people and more than 100 accredited journalists.

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