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Protest in Paris against France’s gay-marriage law

Tens of thousands protested France’s new gay-marriage law in central Paris May 26.

The law was passed more than a week ago, but organizers decided to go ahead with the long-planned demonstration to show their continued opposition, as well as their frustration with President Francois Hollande, who made legalizing gay marriage one of his keynote campaign pledges in last year’s election.

Marchers set off from three separate points across Paris, and by early evening, they filled the Invalides Esplanade just across the Seine River from the Champs Elysees.

Police estimated around 150,000 people took part in the demonstration, but march organizers claimed on their Twitter account that more than a million people did.

A similar protest in March drew about 300,000.

About 5,000 police were on duty for the event because previous anti gay-marriage protests have seen clashes between far-right protesters and the police.

Russian police detain activists, foes at gay rally

Russian police say they detained at least 30 gay-rights campaigners and their opponents at an unsanctioned rally in Moscow.

The campaigners tried to unfurl banners denouncing the Kremlin-backed homophobic legislation in front of Russia’s lower house of parliament, but were attacked by Orthodox Christian vigilantes carrying icons and crosses.

Russia’s lower house of parliament voted in January for a bill that makes public events and dissemination of information about the LGBT community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000. The bill still awaits final approval.

Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, but homophobia remains strong in the country. Government critics and gay-rights activists claim that the Kremlin and the powerful Orthodox Church encourage vigilante groups to attack gay rallies and parades.

Lesbian drama takes top prize at Cannes film festival

A film featuring the love story between two women, and which has shocked some critics because of some graphic sex scenes, has been awarded the top prize at the Cannes film festival.

Bookmakers had already named “Blue is the Warmest Color” as the favorite to win the Palme d’Or prize. It was announced May 26 that it had won, beating the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewelyn Davis,” which won the Grand Prix, the runner-up prize.

“Blue,” directed by Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche, and based on a graphic novel, contains some graphic scenes, and some reviewers have noted that it may need to be edited in order to be widely distributed for cinema showings.

It centers around 15-year-old character Adele, played by Adele Exarchopoulos, and her lover Emma, who is played by Lea Seydoux.

Kechiche said he would consider cutting some scenes in order to have the film seen by as wide an audience as possible.

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