French police refuse to allow anti-gay marriage march in Paris
People block traffic in Paris on February 10, 2013 during a previous demonstration on the Champs Elysees by predominantly French right wing supporters protesting a proposed law to legalise gay marriage and adoption. Banner translates as "1 mother + 1 father, it's elementary". AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEXAs France’s divisive gay marriage bill heads to the Senate in early April, police in Paris have refused to grant opponents to the proposed law the right to march on the capital’s historic Champs Elysées, highlighting security reasons.
The legislation, which redefines marriage as a contract between two people rather than between a man and a woman, cleared a major parliamentary hurdle last month after it was approved by a clear majority in France’s National Assembly. Despite that, opponents to the bill have not given up hope of reversing its progress, calling for mass protests on the Champs Elysées on March 24.
Police in Paris, however, have denied protest organisers the authorisation to take to the world famous street, saying it posed a threat to “public order” in part because the Champs Elysée borders the presidential palace.
In a statement published on Thursday, the Paris police said that they had notified protest organisers in the past that a demonstration on the Champs Elysée was an “impossibility”.
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