Muslims Launch Interfaith March to Preserve Traditional Marriage in France

Muslim activists in France have joined other religious groups in the country to oppose an upcoming bill that would legalize same-sex marriage by June.

"We will protest on January 13 by joining a pluralist campaign to preserve the traditional framework of marriage," read a public letter issued by 50 Muslim activists on Jan. 7, inviting all those who oppose same-sex marriage to join the 'March for All" protest in Paris this Sunday.

"We invite all French Muslims to turn out in large numbers," added the letter, which was reportedly signed by various Muslim grassroots groups, reported Reuters.

Reuters also added that the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) released a statement over the weekend that argued that if the same-sex marriage reform bill, dubbed "Marriage for All," should pass, it "will disrupt family and social structures and civil law dangerously and irreparably."

These Muslim groups join the predominately Roman Catholic-backed opposition to France's upcoming same-sex marriage bill, which was approved by the Socialist-led government last month and will be debated by France's National Assembly this month.

In Nov, 2012, one of France's top Roman Catholic officials, Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, criticized the French government for choosing to focus on same-sex marriage legalization when so many other important issues remained unattended to.

"We regret that the government's choice focuses public attention so much on an issue that's actually secondary," Vingt-Trois said at a Lourdes conference of French bishops, according to Reuters.

"The priority concerns plaguing our fellow citizens (are) the consequences of the economic and financial crisis – factory closings, rising unemployment, growing insecurity of the poorest families," Vingt-Trois added.

Additionally, France's chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim published a letter in Oct. 2012 that spoke of the negative effects of same-sex marriage, the legalization of which he argued was being done for "the exclusive profit of a tiny minority."

"There will be neither courage nor glory in voting a law that relies more on slogans than arguments and conforming to dominant political correctness out of fear of scorn," Bernheim added.

As Time magazine reports, leaders of all major religions in France, including Roman Catholic, Muslim, Protestant and Jewish, have decried the redefinition of traditional marriage.

Reuters points out, however, that while many religious groups in the country have openly opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage, most religious hierarchies have not called on their followers to join Sunday's protest so to avoid the opposition obtaining too strong of a religious tone.

Sunday's "March for All" protest is to garner up to one half million protesters, according to Reuters.