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President François Hollande was accused on Tuesday of capitulating to reactionaries after his Socialist government shelved plans to alter family law following mass weekend protests.Supporters of the reforms branded Mr Hollande and his government “political cowards” after their surprise decision on Monday not to table the bill this year, as previously promised.Among the bill’s measures were granting legal status to step-parents, facilitating adoption and allowing adopted children to trace their their real parents. It was also due to introduce mediation before divorce and regulate custody and visitation rights and maintenance payments for parents who separate.Right-Wing and ultra-conservative groups saw the reforms as an attempt to subvert traditional family values. On Sunday, more than 100,000 people staged protests in Paris and Lyon in “defence of the family”.The bulk of protesters are opposed to same-sex marriage, which was legalised in France last year. Many accused the government of seeking to allow same-sex couples access to fertility treatment or surrogacy in order to have children, although this was not in the bill.