Thousands of protesters gathered in Paris and Lyon Feb 2 to resist France’s legalization of gay marriage, Reuters reports.
More than 2,000 police officers were deployed to deal with protests of more than 100,000 people. Conservatives are angry about the passage of a gay marriage bill last year, as well as the introduction of elementary school gender-equality classes that they fear will include “gender theory.” Some also worry that the French government will legalize artificial fertilization for gay couples, a rumour the government has dismissed.
France has witnessed ongoing protests since the legalization of gay marriage, including by the aggressive, shirtless Conservative young men’s group Hommen. Protests this weekend, according to Reuters, were an uncomfortable alliance of Catholic and Muslim conservatives, all concerned about France’s growing acceptance of gay people.
In reaction to the protests, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that no violence would be tolerated and suggested France is seeing the formation of a “Tea Party à la française.”