Tens of thousands of people have staged a mass rally in the French capital, Paris, to denounce government plan to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption of children by gay couples.
The new bill, which is to be put to debate in French parliament later this month, has angered Catholics and Muslims alike.
Three different marches have been organized around the city near the iconic Eiffel Tower.
French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira, however, said the government will stick to the project and protests could not affect the decision.
According to the police, around 340,000 people took part in the “Demo for All,” a reference to the government’s billing of its legislation as “marriage for all.”
Same-sex marriage was one of the presidential campaign promises of French President Francois Hollande, but his proposed legislation now has to go through the parliament to become a law.
The French opponents of the draft law believe the bill will lead to the disintegration of family institution.
The drive has also drawn criticism from conservative lawmakers as well as Muslim, Protestant, and Jewish communities in the predominantly Catholic nation.
Several other European states, including the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Norway, Spain, and Sweden have authorized same sex-marriage.