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French President Hollande denounces homophobic violence as gay-marriage bill nears


19:31, April 18, 2013

PARIS, April 18 (Xinhua) -- French President Francois Hollande denounced on Thursday escalating violence against gay and urged calm days before the final vote of the law legalizing the same-sex marriage and adoption.

"There are homophobic, violent acts that are committed. The right to demonstrate is recognized and accepted by the French. But no event should degenerate, attack public property or people," Hollande said during a visit to Paris main airport of Charles de Gaulle.

Campaigning for same-sex marriage and adoption, Hollande called on protestors against the Socialist's social reform to "respect the parliament and the law, and respect the universal suffrage, which was informed of my intentions when I was presented."

"Do not prevent the deputies from doing their work. I can not accept homophobic violence, to implicate the police or prevent public interventions," Hollande stressed.

On Wednesday, the police arrested four men on charges of a homophobic attack at a gay bar in the northern city of Lille.

Thousands of demonstrators took to Paris streets to express their refusal to permit same-sex marriage and adoption with some of them have been questioned over cars and public property damage.

Despite continued and strong street opposition, France's upper house of parliament, the Senate, adopted last Friday the law that would allow same-sex marriage and grant gay couples the right to adopt children.

Returned to the National Assembly for a second reading, the bill's final vote was scheduled for April 23.

Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden currently allow gay marriage and gay couples to adopt.

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