National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, is back from his trip to Paris, where he gleefully participated with several hundred thousand people who converged at the Eiffel Tower last Sunday to protest the French president’s plan to legalize same-sex marriage and allow same-sex couples to adopt and conceive children.
The protest march started at three points across Paris, filling streets throughout the city as demonstrators walked more than 3 miles to the grounds of the Eiffel Tower. Paris police estimated the crowd at 340,000, making it one of the largest demonstrations in Paris since an education protest in 1984.
Brown called his participation in the protest “a blessing.” Watch:
Public opposition spearheaded by religious leaders has chipped away at the popularity of Hollande’s plan in recent months. About 52 percent of French favor legalizing gay marriage, according to a survey released last week, down from as high as 65 percent in August.
French civil unions, allowed since 1999, are at least as popular among heterosexuals as among gay and lesbian couples. But that law has no provisions for adoption or assisted reproduction, which are at the heart of the latest debate.
Support for gay marriage — and especially adoption by same-sex couples — has been particularly tenuous outside Paris, and people from hundreds of miles from the French capital marched Sunday beneath regional flags with emblems dating back to the Middle Ages, chanting “Daddy, Mommy.”
If the French parliament approves the plan, France would become the 12th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and the biggest so far in terms of economic and diplomatic influence.