Recent moves in France to introduce legislation to allow same-sex marriage and equal adoption rights for gay couples saw tens of thousands of the conservative French public rally last weekend to protest what they see as an assault on their ‘civil code’.

On Sunday evening authorities reported that over 120,000 people took to the streets around Paris to add their voices of opposition to moves to grant equal rights to the LGBTI community in the country, where the Catholic Church has a very influential voice.

Protesters carried placards that read, “Don’t touch my civil code” and “We don’t want your law, Francois”. Protests converged on the Champs de Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower. Organisers had hoped to attract 200,000 demonstrators and they made their own estimations that over 800,000 people marched on Sunday.

In November last year, newly elected socialist President Francois Hollande’s government approved a bill to legalise same-sex marriage and grant equal adoption rights to the LGBTI community.

Recent polls indicate a majority of voters in the country support marriage equality and adoption rights and thousands have turned out in support rallies. However over a thousand mayors and the Catholic Church added their voice in opposition with an increasing chasm between the left and right of the country emerging.

The bills will be debated later this month.

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