December 17, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Organizers of the first nationwide demonstration against same-sex “marriage” in Paris on January 13th say they hope to bring together over 350,000 people. If they succeed, it would make the event one of the most important rallies in the French capital since a giant march in favor of freedom of education in 1984 mobilized over a million people.

But controversy has broken out in more traditional quarters against the general tone of the “Manif pour tous,” the “demonstration for all.” “Marriage for all” is the slogan French president François Hollande is using to promote the draft same-sex “marriage” law.

With a view to countering media hostility, the demonstration’s leading organizer, humorist and night-bird Frigide Barjot is seeking to tone down any religious or political aspects of the event. She has asked all comers to dress casually in blue, white and pink so as not to appear like traditional Catholic families. All slogans, banners and signs are to conform to the list presented by the organization on its website. At local events held in several towns in France, priests have reportedly been firmly requested to move behind other demonstrators or to hide their white collars with a scarf, officially so as not to attract counter-demonstrators.

Frigide Barjot is herself a converted Catholic but she appears intent on watering down certain forms of opposition to same-sex “marriage”. At a press conference on Wednesday morning, she stressed that the demonstration will fight against “homophobia”. This concept already exists in French hate-crime laws and has led to lawsuits and media campaigns against journalists who spoke negatively about homosexual activity.

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She also announced that the demonstration’s organizers are working on a counter-project whose aim would be to ensure better social, civil and patrimonial rights for homosexual couples. In a television interview at the beginning of this month she agreed that children could “absolutely” grow up well with homosexual parents and that “homoparental families” are not a problem, only the modification of the civil code. She also claims it is necessary to develop “new forms of parental authority” that do not deny biological parenthood in order to allow homosexual couples to organize their lives with their children.

France already recognizes homosexual civil unions, but homosexual adoption is not legal. Since the “civil solidarity pact” (pacs) was legalized in 1999, relatively few homosexuals have availed themselves of it, but an increasing number of heterosexual couples are choosing it above marriage. A pacs creates few obligations and can be broken unilaterally by serving a writ to one’s partner.

More than 80 of France’s bishops have clearly spoken out against same-sex “marriage” and a number of them have called to join the demonstration on January 13th. But a clarification is certainly needed.

A petition has been launched by Riposte Catholique

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, can be reached here: communication@diocese-paris.net.