Tens of thousands of French demonstrators took to the streets of Paris Sunday to protest the nation's new law that redefines marriage.
Although the law passed May 18, protestors decided to go ahead with the long-planned demonstration.
French police say 150,000 people took part but march organizers said that more than a million were involved. About 300,000 came out for a similar demonstration in March.
The protestors started from three separate points across the city. Most marched peacefully but later in the day, clashes broke out between activists and police. Some of the protestors threw glass bottles at journalists.
Organizers wanted to show opposition to the law as well as frustration with President Francois Hollande. During a keynote campaign pledge in his election last year he made legalizing gay marriage a priority.
France is the 12th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. It's also been partially legalized in three nations.
Experts say France's debate on marriage has exposed deep conservatism in the heartland and discontent with the socialist government. Some opponents of the new law see it as a cynical ploy by the government to use what's billed as a human rights issue to destroy the traditional family and Christianity.
French conservative writer Guy Milliere believes this is only the beginning of a brave new world in France, where Christianity and the traditional family, seen by leftists as rivals to the French state, will be increasingly marginalized.
But not all oppose it for religious reasons. Many see it as "unnatural" and believe it will hurt children.