Tens of thousands of people countered recent anti-gay protests in Paris by marching in favour of same-sex marriage in the streets of the French capital on Sunday.

According to police estimates, 125,000 people turned out for the mass demonstration to support the contentious proposed legislation that is set to legalise same-sex marriage and gay adoption in France.

The protestors waved rainbow flags and held up banners with slogans such as “Equality of rights is not a threat” and chanted “What do you want? Equality! When do you want it? Now!”

Despite opposition from the Catholic Church, Muslim leaders and other right-wing groups, the French government is determined to pass the gay marriage bill, known as “Marriage for All”.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Saturday that “A law will be passed and with a large majority too.” His government promised to grant marriage equality to same-sex couples within a year when it came into power in May last year,

Two weeks ago, around 340,000 people protested in Paris against the legislation and asserted the belief that a child should have a mother and a father.

On Sunday, openly gay Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe commented on French television:  “There is a big difference between today’s march and the one two weeks ago, which is that this demonstration is one of brotherhood, not of hatred.”

Under current law, same-sex couples in France can enter into civil unions, known as ‘pacte civil de solidarité’ or PACS, but not marriage.

A recent poll found that 63 percent of French people are in favour of gay marriage rights, although only 49 percent said that they support allowing gay couples to adopt.

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