• France's news in English
 
Anger as Paris mayor bills gay-marriage rally
Anti-gay marrriage protesters make their way to the Champs-de-Mars, where they apparently caused some costly damage. Photo: The Local

Anger as Paris mayor bills gay-marriage rally

Published: 16 Jan 2013 11:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Jan 2013 09:30 GMT+01:00

Bertrand Delanöe is demanding the damages to cover the cost of the restoration of the grass around the Champs-de-Mars, where hundreds of thousands of protesters congregated at the end of the march against gay marriage. 

For those who organized the demonstration, Delanoë’s move is a provocation.

“It is absolutely ridiculous,” Xavier Bongibault told The Local. “He would never do that if it was a pro-gay marriage demonstration.”

“He has taken a militant position towards us. He himself gave his agreement that the march could go ahead,” said Bongibault, who is gay himself but against same-sex marriage.

Organisers suggested to France's BFMTV they would not be paying up and Bongibault is proposing, all be it with a hint of sarcasm, that anyone who demonstrated on Sunday could return to the Champs-de-Mars to help replant the grass, as an alternative to paying the hefty bill.

According to radio station France Blue 107.1, Delanoë has sent the invoice to France’s interior ministry because it gave the authorization for the “demo for all” rally, which attracted between 340,000 and 800,000 people.

The Town Hall in Paris says it is up to the police to pass on the bill to the organizers of the march, France Blue reported.

French politician, Christine Boutin, an opponent of same-sex marriage, also tweeted her disgust at Delanoë’s actions.

“Who are you trying to kid? @BertrandDelanoe. Would he send over the bill for gay pride?,” Boutin said.

Despite Sunday’s protest, one of the biggest seen in the French capital in decades, the French government has vowed to push on with its plans to legalize gay-marriage and open up adoption to same-sex couples.

Delanoë is expected to join activists in a pro-gay marriage demonstration in Paris on January 27th, two days before the French parliament is set to discuss the proposals.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Réunion wreckage
More debris found on Réunion in MH370 hunt
Local volunteers search for more potential plane debris and items on the shore in Saint-Andre, Reunion Island. Photo: Ouissem Gombra / Imaz Press Renuion / AFP

More debris found on Réunion in MH370 hunt

Investigators probing missing flight MH370 collected more debris on an Indian Ocean island on Sunday as Malaysia urged authorities in the region to be on alert for wreckage washing up on their shores. READ  

Calais migrants
Ending Calais migrants crisis is 'top priority'
French gendarmes stand facing a group of seated migrants as they block their way in the Eurotunnel site in Coquelles near Calais. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Ending Calais migrants crisis is 'top priority'

France and Britain vowed on Sunday that ending a crisis which has seen thousands of attempts by migrants to reach England from Calais in recent weeks is a "top priority". READ  

Calais migrants
Eurotunnel migrant activity down overnight
Photo: Philippe Huguen/ AFP

Eurotunnel migrant activity down overnight

French police said on Saturday some 300 migrants in Calais attempted to reach Britain via the cross-Channel tunnel overnight, a significant drop from previous nights as the security presence is beefed up. READ  

Reunion wreckage
Possible MH370 plane part arrives in France
The plane part arriving in Paris on Saturday morning. Photo: Richard Bouhet / AFP

Possible MH370 plane part arrives in France

A piece of Boeing 777 wreckage that washed up on an Indian Ocean island arrived for analysis in France early Saturday, after Malaysian authorities said the part was almost certainly recovered from missing flight MH370. READ  

Calais Migrants
Migrant: 'France will protect me more than UK'
Migrants building a home in the New Jungle in Calais. Photo: AFP

Migrant: 'France will protect me more than UK'

While the intense media coverage of Calais might suggest that all migrants there want to make it to the UK, an increasing number of them are now actually choosing to stay in France. READ  

Reunion wreckage
Experts confirm Réunion debris is Boeing 777
People comb the beaches of Réunion looking for more plane wreckage. Photo: AFP

Experts confirm Réunion debris is Boeing 777

Malaysian authorities confirmed on Friday that plane wreckage washed up on France's island of Réunion was from a Boeing 777, meaning the part is almost certainly from missing flight MH370. READ  

France names capital cities for new regions
Here is the full list of the new proposed capitals. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

France names capital cities for new regions

French officials have revealed their suggestions for the capital cities of the country's newest regions. But not everyone is happy about the choices. READ  

French roads set for 'Black Saturday' jams
Authorities are recommending people to delay their journeys until Sunday. Photo: Philippe Desmazes/ AFP

French roads set for 'Black Saturday' jams

Planning to head out to the countryside this weekend? Beware, the roads will be hit by millions of French motorists taking off for their August break. READ  

Striking French seamen block Calais port
Striking employees of the My Ferry Link company block the access to the port of Calais. Photo: AFP

Striking French seamen block Calais port

Hundreds of French sailors blocked the city of Calais Friday, using burning tyres to prevent access to the port in the midst of the peak holiday travel period. READ  

French court says 'non' to new cockfighting pits
France hopes to be able to stamp out cockfighting altogether eventually. Photo: Jean-Michel Andre/ AFP

French court says 'non' to new cockfighting pits

France's top court on Friday upheld a ban on new cockfighting pits, as the country seeks to stamp out the ancient bloodsport that continues in some regions despite being banned in most parts of the world. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Réunion's plane debris to be probed in France
Ten things you didn't know about Gay Paris
France eyes boost to holiday leave rights
Business & Money
French dating sites 'not protecting client privacy'
Features
Learn more about the Bayonne festival - France's wildest party
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in August
Features
What to see and do at the Paris Plages this summer
Saudi royals 'bar' French policewomen from beach
Take a closer look at the 560,000-year-old tooth found in France
National
Swiss army pilfers French water to give to thirsty cows
National
'B**ch' and 'brainless': French shop slurs clients
Travel
French cops rebel over order to give kids sweets
National
New measures to stop migrant deaths in Calais
Travel
Here are some of the most ridiculous comments you'll read about France
Features
Life may be about to get easier for expats settling in France
National
Burning tyres and blocking roads is just the way the French do strikes
National
Muslim tourists visiting French Alps are reminded of burqa ban
Opinion
Slim and chic: Are French women fed up of the stereotypes?
French officials defend handing public beach over to Saudi royals
Society
French kiss: Should expats in France do 'la bise' among themselves?
National
Paris commuters and tourists face summer of travel trouble
This man learnt the entire French vocabulary in nine weeks, but why?
French speed cameras snare tens of thousands of British drivers
Gallery
What kind of expat in France are you: A lover or a loather?
Society
French tweeters reveal the trials and tribulations of #GrowingupFrench
Where to find the best (and worst) quality of life in France
National
Riviera rumpus as Saudi royals grab public beach all for themselves
What we know about France's foiled terror plot
Features
Here are ten places in Paris where you can escape the summer heat
National
Coup d'état fails in France after being snubbed by military
Are shoppers in northern France the most honest in the world?
French woman fined €90 for driving in flip-flops
Cyclists in Paris get the green light to jump red
'Adieu France': Angry mum's parting rant goes viral
Franco-German rift opens over Greece and it could take time to heal
The Megavalanche: The most spectacular cycling event in France
Ex-French PM's daughter creates a buzz by going topless for photo shoot
Could Parisians be bathing in the Seine by 2024?
Paris unveils new mobile app to help non-French speakers
France declares war on public transport sex pests
So where's the best place to live in France if you want to be happy?
Opinion
Paris: The City of Light, Romance, Style and the worst loos in Europe?
National
Eight ways living in France will change your lifestyle for good
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,621
jobs available