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Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Paris to support the French government’s plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption.

Organisers say 400,000 turned out, while police estimates put the number at 125,000.

Latest research suggests support for the legalisation of same-sex marriage has increased from 60 percent of French people to 63 percent.

The marchers were joined by Bernard Delanoe, the openly-gay Mayor of Paris, who said: “The majority of the French are in favour of this law and we have to fight against these rigid, conservative even sometimes aggressive attitudes.”

Footballer Lilian Thuram came to support the call for equality for all. “Historically, there have always been people against equality,” he said. “There have always been demonstrations, even when it was about giving women the vote, there were people against it.”

On Tuesday, the French parliament starts a two-week debate about the planned law change. Commentators are billing it as one of the biggest social reforms since the abolition of the death penalty in 1981.

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