Waving red and green flags with the message such as “Liberty, Equality and Paternity”, rolled out in home-made signs with texts like “Papa+Maman, there’s nothing better for a child”, French citizens got crowded out on the streets to protest a government-proposed bill that would allow single women and lesbian couples the same access to medically assisted fertility treatments as heterosexual couples, including IVF.
“What worries me is that if we (are planning to) accept that a child doesn’t need to have a father in its life, (and) then create a society where children no longer have any benchmarks,”says 27-year-old mother-to-be Charlotte from Paris,
expressing consternation at the thought of one day having to explain to her own child why some children grow up with two mothers and no father.
Sunday’s demonstration was organised by around a dozen conservative and religious groups, including the “Manif Pour Tous” movement and the Alliance for Catholic Families, which spearheaded the protests against former president Francois Hollande’s gay marriage bill in 2013.
The demonstrators numbering about 74,500, according to an independent auditor commissioned by French media,made its way from the French senate to the Montparnasse tower in central Paris.
Organisers encouraged protesters to call at least 10 people in their phone lists to come and join the protest “for the sake of the rights of the child”. Many of the protesters had brought their children along to the carnival-like rally.