Pro-Family Rally Forces French Government Climb-down
Large Protests in Paris and Lyon on Sunday Lead to Shelving of Controversial Family Law
Paris, (ZENIT.org) | 1212 hits
Following large pro-family protests at the weekend, France's socialist government has postponed plans to update family law that threatened to legalize assisted procreation for lesbian couples or surrogate motherhood for homosexual men who wanted children.
Huge crowds turned out on Sunday in Paris and Lyon to campaign against the law.The government tried on Monday to reassure the protesters, who numbered over 100,000 in Paris and Lyon, saying that the new law would not legalize assisted procreation for lesbian couples or surrogate motherhood for homosexual men.
But socialist lawmakers insisted they wanted the bill to include those reforms, leading the government to announce the draft law - which would also define the legal rights of step-parents in second marriages - needed more work, according to Reuters.
"The government will not submit a family reform bill before the end of the year," the prime minister's office said.
Sunday's protests were led by La Manif Pour Tous, a group of associations campaigning to uphold and protect the traditional family. Other rallies in support of the family and marriage as well as opposition to abortion were also held in Rome, Warsaw, Brussels and other European cities.
Observers say the retreat of France’s government shows that, with President Francois Hollande's popularity near rock bottom and municipal elections coming up next month, it is eager to avoid further conflicts with increasingly frustrated centre-right voters.
The marchers on Sunday included many families, protesting against the enforcement of new gender equality lessons in state primary schools – a move they say will confuse their children's sexual identity by teaching so-called gender theory.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls further angered them in comments on Sunday that lumped them together with violent far-right radicals and anti-Semites who protested a week ago, Reuters reported.
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