Anti-Gay Marriage Demonstrators May Protest Tour de France

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Wednesday June 12, 2013

Demonstrators against France's government legalizing gay marriage last month are set to protest during the Tour de France - not long after two demonstrators stormed the final match of the French Open, the French news site the Local reports.

French opponents of gay marriage announced on Wednesday that they would use the "global visibility" of the annual bike race to publicize their cause to get same-sex marriage banned throughout the country.

"From June 29th to July 21st, we will have an incredible global visibility to show our fight against the law," read a statement on a new Facebook page created to support protesters, who are urged to line the 2,000-mile race.

The majority of the race will take place "near every corner of mainland France, offering protesters across the country the chance to snatch a bit of prime-time coverage," the Local writes. The site also points out that the Facebook page, called "Tour de France pour tous," urged supporters to send each other private messages with specific locations on the route they the plan to protest. The Facebook page also encourages protesters on Twitter to use the hashtag #tourpourtous.

One anti-gay marriage supporter used the hashtag in a tweet against France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who has told the protesters a number of times that they must accept the marriage equality law.

"Valls, will he succeed in sleeping during the #TourPourTous" @SoleneBizet tweeted, according to the Local.

The protesters don't plan on disrupting the actual race but are aiming to capitalize on the media attention the event will get, hoping to make headlines across the world.

On Sunday, two shirtless, masked demonstrators protesting France's legalization of gay marriage rushed the tennis courts during the final match of the French Open. Security, however, quickly reacted and ushered them off the court.