President François Hollande has urged France to put the divisive gay marriage debate behind it, calling for 'calm, understanding and respect'.
France is set to become the 14th country worldwide - and the ninth in Europe - to open up marriage to homosexual couples after its parliament on Tuesday voted in favour of a bill of law to give marriage and adoption rights to couples of the same sex. It now remains for the socialist government to enact the law, while a group of conservative opposition MPs, whose UMP party has campaigned against the bill, have promised to contest it before France’s Constitutional Council. The vote on an issue that has divided public opinion comes after six months of demonstrations for and against amid sometimes hysterical rhetoric from politicians. Mediapart reporters joined separate rallies in Paris held by opponents and supporters of the marriage reform. The opinions expressed reveal apparently irreconcilable views over the issue, while many gays spoke of their indignation and fear over the upsurge in insults and violence they have personally witnessed since last autumn.
Two days before a final vote onFrance's same-sex marriage bill, thousands of opponents demonstrated in Paris in a last bid to block the legislation.
France's upper chamber of parliament has begun examining bill which gives homosexual couples the right to marry and adopt children.
The demonstrations are a response to the recent mobilisation of thousands of opponents of the government’s plan to legalise gay marriage.
Interior minister Manuel Valls bans all protests planned this weekend over French magazine cartoons denigrating Islam's Prophet Mohammed.
French embassies around the Islamic close following satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's publication of caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
A hundred people were arrested, and three police officers hurt, during a protest outside the US embassy in Paris against an anti-Islam film.