MOSCOW, March 25 (RIA Novosti) - Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in central Paris on Sunday protesting against a draft law that allows same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, BBC reported.
The lower house of the French parliament, dominated by President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party and its allies, adopted the bill last month and the Senate is set to debate on the draft law in April.
Protesters at first gathered along a major street leading to the Arc de Triomphe, but later hundreds of demonstrators spilled over onto the Champs Elysees prompting police to use tear gas and batons.
Demonstrators unfurled banners along their route that in particular read “Hands off my filiation” and “We want work, not gay marriage.”
Organizers of the Sunday rally put the number of demonstrators at 1.4 million people, saying that many came to Paris by buses from French provinces, while police estimates put the turnout at 300,000.
This was the second such protest in France this year. The first similar protest in January forced French lawmakers to put off their plan to allow lesbian couples an access to artificial insemination.
France allows civil unions between same-sex couples, but during his presidential campaign, Hollande pledged to extend their rights. Although his socialist government faced opposition from over 1,000 mayors and the Catholic Church, it still approved a relevant bill in November 2012.