The obscure allies of France's anti-gay marriage movement

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The movement that led opposition to France’s law allowing for same-sex marriages, which was introduced in May 2013, called its supporters back on the streets of Paris on Sunday, in a test of its strength to influence conservative candidates in next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections. While calling for a repeal of the law, it more realistically also targets, among other issues, adoption rights for gay couples and their access to artificial reproduction methods and surrogate pregnancy. As Lucie Delaporte reports, the largely right-wing and Catholic movement called ‘La Manif Pour Tous’ is, a fact unknown to many in France, part of a broad alliance of similarly-minded campaigning groups across Europe, the United States and Russia.

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A month before the ‘Manif Pour Tous’ demonstration in Paris on Sunday (see news report of the event here), which was a test of the continuing strength of a movement that, beginning in 2012, brought hundreds of thousands onto French streets to protest against France’s same-sex marriage bill, the US-based World Congress of Families held what it called a “regional conference” in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. The agenda of the conference, which was attended by key figures of the ‘Manif Pour Tous’ movement, included talks on themes that are dear to those who demonstrated in Paris this weekend, such as: “Totalitarianism of LGBT ideology”, “Natural family is the key to resolving major problems of humankind”, “The European Union against families and traditional values”, and “The demographic winter and the moral decline of the West”.