Washington D.C., Nov 12, 2013 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A French movement dedicated to the understanding of marriage as an institution between a man and a woman has assembled a large coalition that respects all persons, regardless of political affiliation or sexuality.
The question of marriage is “not a question of religion, faith, political opinion; it’s a question of life,” Ludovine de La Rochère, president and founder of La Manif Pour Tous, said in a Nov. 1 interview with CNA.
In defining marriage for society, she added, “the question is not homosexuality: it is the reality of marriage and filiation of children.”
La Manif Pour Tous, which translates as “The Demonstration for Everyone” began in late 2012 when French President Francois Hollande announced that his government would pursue the redefinition of marriage to include both same-sex and opposite-sex partners. At the time, France also had civil unions open to all couples regardless of sex.
“From the very beginning it was a great success,” Rochère said. On Nov. 17 2012, a first demonstration of around 200,000 people was held in Paris against the proposed legislation. Over the course of the next several months, a coalition was formed of over 40 organizations representing a variety of people – parents, members of the LGBT community, communists, atheists, Catholics, and Muslims, among others.
“For the first time, many organizations worked together,” she remarked, to protest the French government’s insistence on same-sex marriage. “We are open to everybody, and encourage everyone to join,” she said of the movement’s membership.
The largest demonstration was held March 24, 2013, Rochère said, with “at least 1 million” people marching between 3 different locations in Paris alone. Simultaneous marches were held elsewhere across France, she added. In addition, the movement collected over 700,000 signatures on a petition to halt the government’s attempt to redefine marriage.
However, the French government and media have both tried to act “as if we never existed,” Rochère said.
After the March 24 demonstration, the French media under-reported the number of protestors at the marches, she claimed, saying that only around 300,000 people attended, and without mention of the other demonstrations.
Rochère said that since the March protest, the French media has not reported on La Manif Pour Tous’ other events, and has labeled the movement as “homophobic” and “religious,” despite its broad and diverse support – even among the gay community in France.
In addition, she said, the government, who “thought (Read More)