French gay marriage: Water cannon, police legions

Associated Press
Frigide Barjot, leader of the movement against gay marriage, 2nd right, talks to the media as she visits mothers, who take part in a vigil to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption next to the Eiffel tower in Paris, Monday, April 22, 2013. Both houses of the French parliament have already approved the bill in a first reading. The second and final reading is expected Tuesday. Eiffel tower is seen in the background. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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Frigide Barjot, leader of the movement against gay marriage, 2nd right, talks to the media as she visits mothers, who take part in a vigil to protest against French President Francois Hollande's social reform on gay marriage and adoption next to the Eiffel tower in Paris, Monday, April 22, 2013. Both houses of the French parliament have already approved the bill in a first reading. The second and final reading is expected Tuesday. Eiffel tower is seen in the background. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) — Police say legions of officers and a small battery of water cannon are at France's National Assembly as lawmakers prepare for a final vote to legalize gay marriage.

Christophe Crepin, spokesman for the police union UNSA, says the extraordinary security is in place protectively for Tuesday's vote.

In recent weeks, violent attacks against gay couples have spiked and some legislators have received threats — including one who got a gunpowder-filled envelope. One protest against gay marriage ended with some demonstrators fighting police and damaging cars along the Champs-Elysees avenue.

When President Francois Hollande promised to legalize gay marriage, it was seen as relatively uncontroversial. The issue has since rejuvenated the country's conservative movement and brought together the far right, the Catholic Church and many French families from the countryside.

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