Several thousand demonstrators are expected at the event to protest French proposals to recognize same-sex unions as marriages and to allow same-sex couples to adopt. They will also oppose the U.K. government’s “gay marriage” bill that has passed through committees in the House of Commons.
The March 24 rally, called “March for All,” will coincide with the French rally La Manif Pour Tous. The Sunday rally in Paris is expected to draw over 1 million people.
Rally organizers said the effect of the French legislation on children is a primary concern. They said the proposal privileges the desires of adults, not the wellbeing of children.
They noted that the legislation would deny legal recognition that children have both a male and a female parent.
Montgieux said that the French proposals will lead to other “rights for adults” that ignore children’s needs like broader access to assisted reproductive technology and surrogate parenting, which are presently restricted or forbidden.
“This would radically alter a child’s relationship with their parents. So not only will these plans remove terms such as ‘Mother’ and ‘Father’ but they open the way to artificial reproduction which breaks the link with natural parenthood,” he said.
In his statement, Montgieux encouraged international cooperation.
“This is now a pan-European challenge and it needs a pan-European response,” he said. He added that defenders of marriage as a union of one man and one woman must “act quickly.”
France’s National Assembly approved the legislation in February by a vote of 329 to 229. The French Senate will consider the legislation in early April.
After the February vote, supporters of traditional marriage gathered 700,000 signatures in under two weeks asking for a consultative assembly to examine the law’s effects, but the request was denied.
Massive protests against the proposed change drew as many as 1.3 to 1.5 million people to the city of Paris on Jan. 14. Attendees included Muslims and gay advocates opposed to the redefinition of marriage.
Rally organizers said recent polling suggests falling support for redefining marriage in France. and as many as 70 percent of French citizens are now opposed.
A U.S. rally, known as the March for Marriage, will take place in Washington, D.C. on March 26 as the U.S. Supreme Court considers arguments that “gay marriage” is a constitutional right.