PARIS – Supported by France’s Muslims and Catholics, tens of thousands of French are rallying to march Sunday, January 13, against government plans to legalize same-sex marriage in the southern European country.
"We're all born of a man and a woman, but the law will say the opposite tomorrow," said Frigide Barjot, a French humorist and TV host leading the so-called "March for All" protest, Reuters reported."It will say a child is born of a man and a man."
|How Islam Views Homosexuality|
Rallying under "March for All" symbol, the Paris protest was arranged against the reform the government has dubbed "Marriage for All".
Uproar has engulfed France after the Socialist-led government approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.
The bill, which will be debated by France’s National Assembly at the end of January, would grant gay couples the right to adopt children.
The bill has triggered massive protests across the country, with churches speaking loudly against the move.
France's top Catholic prelate Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois has criticized the government for forging ahead with the plans at a time when the country faced urgent economic concerns.
In August, Vingt-Trois launched the Catholic campaign with a national prayer day against same-sex marriage.
“I'm happy many Catholics will be mobilized, but this is not a church demonstration against the government,” said Vingt-Trois, who plans to go meet marchers but not join them.
French Muslim groups have also joined protests against the bill.
The call has been led by the influential Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) which urged co-religionists to join the march.
“This bill, if it passes, will disrupt family and social structures and civil law dangerously and irreparably,” it said.
The government has a comfortable majority in parliament to pass the bill.
An opinion poll released this week showed that 52 percent of the French backed gay marriage but an equal number opposed same-sex adoption.
Organizers say that they are not against gays, but for traditional marriage.
“We are marriagophile, not homophobe,” said Barjot, author of a book entitled "Confessions of a Trendy Catholic.”
Preparations for the rally have gathered pace.
Protesters across the country have hired as many as 90 coaches and five high-speed trains to head to Paris. They say they have distributed 4.5 million leaflets championing their cause.
There will be three different marches across the city which will converge near the Eiffel Tower.
Barjot said on Saturday she was expecting “between 200,000 and 300,000 people.”
Marchers have been instructed in leaflets not to react to provocation and told to “keep smiling in the face of invective ... seek discussion and if that fails, turn to the forces of law and order.”
An earlier protest march on November 17 drew more than 100,000 people across France, with some 70,000 rallying in Paris alone.
Passing the law would make France the 12th country around the world to legalize same-sex marriage.
It is already allowed in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden.
Same-sex relationship and marriage are totally prohibited in Islam, Christianity and all divine religions.
Islam teaches that believers should neither do the obscene acts, nor in any way indulge in their propagation.
The Catholic Church teaches that homosexuality is not a sin, but considers homosexual intercourse as sinful.
Pope Benedict XVI has said that same-sex marriage threatened "the future of humanity itself."
In March, he denounced moves to legalize the same-sex marriage in the United States, where President Barack Obama has since come out in its support.Catholic Church leaders in England and Scotland have also spoken out against gay marriage this year after Prime Minister David Cameron and the Scottish regional government both announced plans to legalize it.
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