published Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

French protest against gay marriage turns violent

Pro gay marriage activists celebrate with Champagne after French lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage.
Pro gay marriage activists celebrate with Champagne after French lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

PARIS — Clashes have broken out between protesters and riot police near France’s National Assembly building hours after the country legalized gay marriage.

Some protesters opposed to the measure legalizing same-sex marriage hurled glass bottles, cans and metal bars, and riot police responded with tear gas at the Invalides memorial and museum complex, near the National Assembly.

Hours earlier, French lawmakers legalized gay marriage after a wrenching national debate that exposed deep conservatism in the nation’s heartland and tapped into intense discontent with the Socialist government.

The measure passed easily in the Socialist-majority Assembly, 331-225.

Following the vote, members of the gay and lesbian community flocked to a square in central Paris, just behind City Hall, to celebrate.

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