Gay marriage opponents mass in Paris for final rally
- 25 March 2013
- From the section Europe
Hundreds of thousands of people have taken part in a final protest in Paris against a bill to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption.
There were scuffles and police fired tear gas as the protest spilled over onto the Champs Elysees, the avenue which runs past the president's palace.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls said there had been dozens of arrests.
France's Senate is due to debate the bill next month after it was passed by the lower house of parliament.
President Francois Hollande's Socialist Party and its allies dominate both houses.
Opinion polls suggest a majority of French people still support gay marriage but their numbers have fallen in recent weeks.
Banners held up along the march route read: "We want work not gay marriage" and "No to gayxtremism".
Police had banned the protesters from the Champs Elysees, but groups of them broke through to the avenue.
Officers used batons and tear gas to try to dislodge several hundred people who gathered there as the main demonstration ended.
Mr Valls said the remaining protesters were mostly from far-right groups.
However, the head of the centre-right opposition UMP party, Jean-François Cope, said some families on the protest had been caught up in the tear gas.