French gay marriage: Water cannon, police legions

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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