Photo Credit: independent.co.ukEarlier about 400,000 people, including many children, had defied warnings of possible far-right violence and marched in peaceful protest against France’s newly enacted law permitting same-sex marriage. Twenty members of a xenophobic far-right group, “Génération Identitaire”, clambered on to the roof terrace of the headquarters of the Socialist party during the afternoon and unfurled a banner calling for the resignation of President François Hollande. They were rapidly dislodged and arrested by police.
Even before the violence broke out, the government said that there had been 96 arrests, mostly for possession of weapons.
The “marriage-for-all” law, allowing gay couples to marry in town halls and adopt children, passed its final legal and constitutional hurdles earlier this month.
The first officially recognised same-sex marriage in France will take place between two men in Montpellier on Wednesday.
The passage of the law, and warnings of possible violence, had been expected to dampen the ardour of protesters for what was billed as the “last demonstration” in a series of half a dozen large rallies that began in December. Police put the turn-out at 150,000. The organisers claimed 1,000,000. Other organisers estimated over 400,000, which seemed closest to the mark.
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