“La Manif Pour Tous” – a protest against marriage equality
Sunday I spent the afternoon photographing a protest against gay marriage in France. The sheer size of the demonstration was shocking. Streets filled with people chanting and waving flags. The demonstration was conducted surpassingly peacefully. Even counter protesters I saw stayed to sidewalk, often wearing t-shirts stating “Gay O.K.” One man I talked to seemed unfazed by the march he disagreed with and was content to wait for the counter demonstration in 2 weeks to make his voice heard.
At the end of the month the National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale) will consider a law allowing same-sex marriage (currently France allows same-sex civil unions) supported by French President, François Hollande. The 3 large groups of demonstrators marched through Paris converging on the Eiffel Tower for a rally against the proposed new law. Throughout the afternoon the park (Champ-de-Mars) continued to fill to the sound of pop music, most surprisingly, Gangnam Style. In total, police estimated 350,000 were in attendance, however event organizers counted 800,000. On Sunday, January 27, a demonstration will be held in support of gay marriage, I’ll be there as well.