Tens of Thousands Protest Gay Marriage Legalization in Paris

On the heels of France's new gay marriage law coming into effect last week, thousands of French are marching in Paris today in opposition to the new law.

Police estimate more than 150,000 marchers took part in the demonstration, which organizers said was to show their frustration and continued opposition to the new law. The parade was accompanied by a large police presence, as police have clashed in the past with far-right groups who take part in the march.

This caps a contentious week for the French, whose president, Francois Hollande, made legalizing gay marriage a hallmark pledge of his election campaign last yes. On Tuesday, Dominique Venner, a far-right historian, killed himself on the altar of Notre Dame.

Venner called the French people to action, instead of just peaceful protests, "It certainly will require new, spectacular and symbolic gesture to shake the sleepiness, shaking anesthetized consciousness and awaken the memory of our origins. We are entering a time when words must be authenticated by acts."

Putting action to his words, but not necessarily in the exact way Venner would have liked, was the feminist group Femen, a member of which posed at Notre Dame the day after Venner's suicide with "May fascism rest in hell" written across her torso. She then put a gun in her mouth and mocked Venner's suicide.

Tens of Thousands Protest Gay Marriage Legalization in Paris

"It is a message addressed to all those who support facism and those who have expressed sympathy for the extreme-right militant who killed himself in Notre Dame," said Inna Schevchenko, the leader of Femen.

Marchers might also not be taking solace in the fact that the French-made lesbian coming-of-age tale Blue is the Warmest Color just won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

[Getty]