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Mass Paris rally against gay marriage in France

Photo of the Feminists taking a swing at these people.


Hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris over plans to give gay couples in France the right to marry and adopt children.

Three big marches converged on the Champs de Mars, a large park next to the Eiffel Tower.

France's Socialist government is planning to change the law this year.

But the demonstrators, backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, argue it would undermine an essential building block of society.

The organisers put the number of marchers at 800,000, with demonstrators pouring into Paris by train and bus, carrying placards that read, "We don't want your law, Francois" and "Don't touch my civil code".

Police said the figure was closer to 340,000 and one government minister said the turnout was lower than the organisers had predicted. A similar march in November attracted around 100,000 people.

The "Demo for all" event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the "crowd is immense" and told French TV that gay marriage "makes no sense" because a child should be born to a man and woman.

'Test for president' Although France allows civil unions between same-sex couples, Francois Hollande made a pledge to extend their rights part of his presidential campaign.

Centre-right UMP President Jean-Francois Cope said the rally would be a "test" for the president because there were "clearly millions of French people who are probably concerned by this reform".

The far-right National Front is also opposed to the change, although its leader Marine Le Pen stayed away from the march, arguing the issue was a diversion by politicians from France's real problems.

Despite the support of the Church and political right, the organisers are keen to stress their movement is non-political and non-religious, and in no way directed against homosexuals, BBC Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield reports.

An opinion poll of almost 1,000 people published by Le Nouvel Observateur newspaper at the weekend suggested that 56% supported gay marriage, while 50% disapproved of gay adoption.

The poll also said that 52% of those questioned disapproved of the Church's stand against the legislation.

Earlier polls had indicated stronger support for the legalisation of gay marriage.

As the marchers began arriving in the centre of Paris, four Ukrainian activists staged their own protest in St Peter's Square in the Vatican in support of gay rights.

The women from feminist group Femen appeared topless while Pope Benedict recited his traditional Angelus prayer.

Police moved to restrain the activists, one of whom was attacked by a worshipper brandishing an umbrella.

by Anonymousreply 7606/09/2013


by Anonymousreply 101/27/2013

I didn't realize what a backwards shithole France is. Why is the gay movement there so lazy? Same with the UK.

by Anonymousreply 201/27/2013

I don't agree with the protestors, but at least they were allowed to protest. People poured in from buses, trains, etc

If there was, say, an anti war rally in NYC and hundreds of thousands of people were coming in via trains and buses and walking across bridges en masse, Bloomberg would shut down the train stations, the bridges and the tunnels and corral what protestors there were into metal police barricades which essentially form cages. And they wouldn't get anywhere near City Hall or Central Park.

by Anonymousreply 301/27/2013

What a bunch of hypocrites. They elect politicians who openly have mistresses, and they have no problem with that. But give their gay neighbors the same legal rights that they have, no way!! France has essentially abandoned the Catholic Church. The churches are empty except for old people. But now they're on their moral high horse.

I love traveling to France, but they have a right wing conservative asshole base nearly as bad as ours.


by Anonymousreply 404/21/2013

Exactly, R4. I can't believe that a mistress with every marriage France is so opposed to gay marriage. I'm mystified by it. But maybe it's as backward outside Paris as the US outside the major metropolitan areas. Logically I suppose it would be. Somehow I just thought the whole of France was cool on some level.

by Anonymousreply 504/21/2013

This is ALL driven from the Vatican.

Catholic robots doing what they are told.

by Anonymousreply 604/23/2013

I don't even want to visit France again after realizing how violently homophobic they are. They're worse than America.

by Anonymousreply 704/23/2013

[quote]I don't even want to visit France again after realizing how violently homophobic they are. They're worse than America.

Yes. Of course DL would have one believing Europe is a haven for gays and in America they're killed on the streets.

In reality, they're not [italic]that[/italic] far apart.

by Anonymousreply 804/23/2013

They are not worse than America, they are worse that NY State maybe. Try Tennessee or Texas sometimes, for the real thing.

by Anonymousreply 904/23/2013

Spain, which is more Catholic than France, doesn't have anti-gay protests like this. WTF is wrong with the Frenchies?

by Anonymousreply 1004/23/2013

[quote]Spain, which is more Catholic than France, doesn't have anti-gay protests like this. WTF is wrong with the Frenchies?

Good point, R10. How many of these people were Muslims? France has more Muslims than Spain.

by Anonymousreply 1104/23/2013

Breaking News French parliament legalises gay marriage The French parliament has approved a bill legalising gay marriage and adoption for same-sex couples in its final vote on the legislation.

by Anonymousreply 1204/23/2013

[quote] Good point, [R10]. How many of these people were Muslims? France has more Muslims than Spain.

Is that what the basis of the anti-marriage movement is in France? The Muslims?

by Anonymousreply 1304/23/2013

Muslims are a small part of the anti-gay rallies and movement in France. There is a sizeable Catholic and conservative Protestant anti-gay movement in France, as well as secular antigay movement.

by Anonymousreply 1404/23/2013

Gay Star News reports:

A Twitter hashtag loosely translated as ‘Homosexuals must be killed’ is going viral before France's National Assembly votes on gay marriage today (23 April). It is unknown where ‘Il Faut Tuer Les Homosexuels’ started from, but thousands of social networking users are tweeting about the trending topic. As points out, many are pointing to a user called Mamadou Neutron for the original tweet. He has since deleted the tweet but continues to publish homophobic messages. While some anti-gay Twitter users have just posted the hashtag, others have added messages like ‘Kill them all’ and ‘For a better world…’ Gay rights organization SOS Homophobie is inviting everyone to screen capture the homophobic tweets and send the pictures to them.

by Anonymousreply 1504/23/2013

[quote]The women from feminist group Femen appeared topless while Pope Benedict recited his traditional Angelus prayer.

Why? Put your fuckin tits away maybe someone will take you seriously.

by Anonymousreply 1604/23/2013

Has gay marriage passed in FRance?

by Anonymousreply 1704/23/2013

[quote]A Twitter hashtag loosely translated as ‘Homosexuals must be killed’ is going viral before France's National Assembly votes on gay marriage today

"Homosexuals must be killed" is the teaching of the Southern Baptist hatemongering preachers from the U.S. who go to Africa as missionaries.

by Anonymousreply 1804/23/2013

Passed, but not before exposing France as the most homophobic country in western Europe.

by Anonymousreply 1904/23/2013

The polling figures suggest that France is a close match to the U.S. in terms of public opinion (just over half supporting marriage equality). Although I think more Americans might actually support gay adoption.

But of course our only hope is judicial, and that won't happen unless Scalia kicks the bucket during a democratic presidency.

by Anonymousreply 2004/23/2013

I'm surprised and chocked by the fascism and homophobia in France.

Spain did not react this way.

by Anonymousreply 2105/26/2013

Right give me a break. "The sanctity of marriage" and yet there are huge billboards in every subway staition of a website that lets you successfully cheat on your spouse. Gleeden dot com.

The gay marriage passing couldn't be at a worse time either, unemployment is at an all time high here and the far right is getting stronger.

by Anonymousreply 2205/26/2013

BTW in Spain in 2005 almost 1.5 million were in the streets protesting. Nobody even talks about it today, They all thought it was going to change the fabric of society.

by Anonymousreply 2305/26/2013

France (like much of Europe) is a very hetero-sexist and misogynistic culture. Straight men dominate the French culture and women are worshiped as sex objects. No room for gays in that model.

I am so ashamed to be French and European. This is why the world laughs at us.

by Anonymousreply 2405/26/2013

[quote]The gay marriage passing couldn't be at a worse time either, unemployment is at an all time high here and the far right is getting stronger.

If unemployment is at an all time high, shouldn't these dumb ass protesters be focused on that instead of some dumb shit that doesn't affect them???

by Anonymousreply 2505/26/2013

These people see it all as inter-related, R25. They don't understand the concept of independent phenomena.

by Anonymousreply 2605/26/2013

R24, maybe, but can you explain why on a global level Europe has some of the best gay rights and marriage equality legislation? Exactly who in the world is laughing at us for gay rights or the position of women? Which region in the world do you think is better than us?

R13, the proportion of Muslims was minimal. The movers and shakers behind this anti-equality "campaign" are pure-blooded French Catholics, who are also generally against immigration too, and certainly don't like Muslims. But, ignorance is your forte.

Most opinion polls show over 70% of people in France are fed up with the stupid antics of these homophobes and just wish they'd shut up and go away.

by Anonymousreply 2705/27/2013

Makes me feel sad. I kept hearing people claim that the French didn't care and are liberal about it. WRONG.

Big contrast to the UK where gay marriage is also currently being passed - there are detractors but nothing on that scale.

by Anonymousreply 2805/27/2013

Because in France the rallying cry is always "to the streets"! Be you left- or right-wing. It's a far more politically polarised society and it's a far more "protesting" society. The British are more prone simply to muttering.

The big contrast with the UK is that France has already passed same-sex marriage whereas in the UK it's still going through the legislative process. In the UK, same-sex marriage has seriously destabilised the prime minister's position within his own party. In France my suspicion is that ultimately the anti-SSM position taken by the UMP will end up acting as a boomerang for them because by the time of the next presidential elections no one, except the complete loonies, will care about SSM, it would be very odd for the UMP to say it will repeal the law (which they're not saying even now, I believe). The scumbag Jean-Francois Cope has made anti-SSM a rallying cry but come the next presidential elections it will seem antiquated and backward and if he tries to take an anti-SSM position then he will alienate many.

Even Frigide Barjot didn't attend her own rally yesterday because she feared attacks from right-wing extremists! Well, she's the one who unleashed all that.

The US by contrast is still miles behind on SSM. They couldn't even pass an immigration law so that foreign partners could live with their American partners in the US. Most European countries even with civil unions allow partner immigration.

by Anonymousreply 2905/27/2013

R27, ignore the racist troll. DL has been infested with diseased anti Muslim bigots recently.

by Anonymousreply 3005/27/2013

This is all the Catholic Churchs doing.

The Vatican is waging a war against the gay community world wide.

by Anonymousreply 3105/27/2013

[quote]DL has been infested with diseased anti Muslim bigots recently.

Are we supposed to be pro-Muslim when these are the same sick fucks who are violent and think gays should be put to death?

Quit defending a disgusting "religion" you idiot. They don't like you.

by Anonymousreply 3205/27/2013

[quote]I didn't realize what a backwards shithole France is.

Anyone familiar with France's behavior during WWII would not be surprised. I guess it is a thin line between believing your culture is superior to all others and intolerance.

by Anonymousreply 3305/27/2013

R32 is a raving racist idiot. Has all the characteristics. To try and debate with such types is impossible. If you don't share their hatred they label you as "pro-Muslim", which is a complete distortion of your position. This is because they can only see things in a tribal, polarised way, for or against, with us or against us. They can only conceive of society as being divided into mutually exclusive enemy camps, which are ready to go to war with each other at the slightest slur.

Also, if you point out to them that, yes, you understand that Islam is a generally conservative religion but not all Muslims by any means want to kill gays or that of the approximately 1.60 billion Muslims in the world only a few thousand globally are violent in the way we see in the headlines, then they can't comprehend this. A country like Uganda, for example, the government of which wants to be able to kill gays, is majority Christian and it is Christians there who are pushing for capital punishment for homosexuality.

If you also point out, as has been done on this thread, that the aggressive and often violent campaign against gay marriage in France has actually been pushed by Catholics, who complain it is against Catholicism, that the people in this campaign are generally "pure blooded" French who don't like Muslims and oppose immigration they can't undersand that either.

R32, since this thread is about the opposition to gay marriage in France and that opposition is almost 100% being run by Catholics, wouldn't it be more appropriate for you to bash the Catholic church here? Or, do you think the Catholic church's homophobia is perfectly acceptable because they are white?

by Anonymousreply 3405/27/2013

They didn't mind collaborating with the Nazi's during the war.

by Anonymousreply 3505/27/2013

R34 Muslim isn't a race you retard. And if people don't like them, that's their fucking choice, asshole.

by Anonymousreply 3605/27/2013

The french got a culture of protest. I'm pretty sure half of those protesters didn't know what they are protesting about.

by Anonymousreply 3705/27/2013

R36, genius answer!

What's your opinion of the Catholics who are behind the French anti-gay marriage campaign?

What would you say to someone arguing "if people don't like gays, that's their fucking choice, get over it"?

by Anonymousreply 3805/27/2013

That's it! I'm boycotting French Fries.

I thought Europe was supposed to be a bit more progressive than the U.S., but apparently bigoted assholes are a universal thing.

by Anonymousreply 3905/27/2013

R36, "retard"? Are you 12? The IQ we already know is hovering around there, but how old are you?

And it is truly the height of stupidity to proclaim hatred for over a billion people. There's nothing sane about expressing hatred for people who number five times the population of the US and spanning numerous nations. You can't not look like an idiot for being that way.

by Anonymousreply 4005/27/2013

They should rally, pictures should be taken and the mean people should be exposed.

What a bunch of assholes?

by Anonymousreply 4105/27/2013

Homophobia in France. Gay kids kicked out of home by parents.

by Anonymousreply 4205/27/2013

From the Telegraph:

France least tolerant country in Western Europe of homosexuals

by Anonymousreply 4305/27/2013

Let's not forget the French equivalent of "fag" is "pede" from where you think it's from.

by Anonymousreply 4405/27/2013

r44 I didn't know that.

by Anonymousreply 4505/27/2013

R42, gay kids get kicked out of home everywhere, not just France.

What's missing from this thread is the fact that France has same-sex marriage, the legislation passed with a solid majority, most of the population supports it and the first wedding is taking place in a couple of days. Meanwhile, the US is way off having universal same-sex marriage, the same-sex marriage that does exist in individual states does not give gay people the same rights as all other American citizens throughout the land, and gay couples have been left out of the immigration law, unlike the situation that has effetively existed in France (and many other European countries that have civil partnerships but not same-sex marriage) for a number of years now.

R43, it's ironic that the Daily Telegraph has that article because in the UK Daily Telegraph (and DL fave Daily Mail) readers are the most likely not to want to live next door to a gay person.

The weird American Francophobia is still alive and kicking, even when gay couples in France have full equal rights and marriage and gay couples in America are still a long way from that.

by Anonymousreply 4605/28/2013

France is still the least tolerant country in western Europe.

by Anonymousreply 4705/28/2013

As is the tendency by one poster, R46/R38/R34 etc. to try to take over an entire thread.

by Anonymousreply 4805/28/2013

Please [R47] Have you ever been to Italy?

by Anonymousreply 4905/28/2013

Thanks R23 for the perspective (re: Spain 2005).

I think it's pretty clear the Catholic church is behind this.

Good luck Italy with LGBT rights

by Anonymousreply 5005/28/2013

Back in 2005, when Spain passed the bill...

The Vatican condemned the bill, which if also passed by the Spanish Senate, will make Spain one of the few European countries to allow homosexuals to marry and to adopt children.

The head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council on the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, denounced the legislation as profoundly iniquitous.

by Anonymousreply 5105/28/2013

This article is even worse

by Anonymousreply 5205/28/2013

Lot of sexism in France. You will have strong women but there is unimaginable pressure to look "pretty", "beautiful", whatever. Basically, to spend an inordinate amount of time making sure you are pleasing to the eyes of others.

I don't have time or leisure for such activities and don't work in the fashion industry. I'll make the effort for a wedding (the gay variety), but that's it.

by Anonymousreply 5305/28/2013

One of my closest straight friends moved to Italy. She works and resides in Rome. There is no way in hell I am going there but I don't have the heart to tell her why. And it's the blatant homophobia there and the fact she never personally stood for marriage equality in the first place.

Sometimes you are just the gay friend, even though you would like to think otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 5405/28/2013

Belgian fries are much better, R39.

by Anonymousreply 5505/28/2013

R54, if you just visit your friend for a few days or a few weeks you will be fine, don't worry. Should European gays avoid visiting the US because of Alabama, Mississippi Tea Party, Republicans, US House majority, NRA, etc?

If she never personally stood for marriage equality why is she such a close friend?

R48, do you have any comprehension as to what "intolerant" means? You're a better example of it.

by Anonymousreply 5605/28/2013

That's a good question, R56.

Because we grew up together, both moved around a lot and met again at 30 in a different country and different city. All my other friends I met when I was in my 20s.

Still I don't like homophobic atmospheres and don't want to contribute to tourism in places that are homophobic.

by Anonymousreply 5705/28/2013

France (and certainly Paris), as opposed to Spain, has a large Muslim and North African population who are probably very anti-gay. Ditto Amsterdam - which is now also not safe for walking around hand in hand with your same-sex partner.

by Anonymousreply 5805/28/2013

Enough with the anti-Muslim reasoning!

The Vatican is to blame for this, and anyone who has seen one of those rallies knows it. Enough with the misinformation! We live here. Don't spread lies to the LGBT community in the rest of the world.

by Anonymousreply 5905/28/2013

r49, you must be unaware of the World Values Survey, which found France to be the most homophobic Western European country.

by Anonymousreply 6005/28/2013

Francois Hollande didn’t expect such vast public outcry when he signed the same-sex marriage law in order to satisfy the small lobby, which sponsored his campaign for French presidency, Bruno Vercken from La Manif Pour Tous movement told RT.

Central Paris has witnessed violence on its streets over the weekend, a mass rally in protest at laws allowing same-sex marriage turned into clashes.

Police cracked down on far-right activists who had joined the demonstration, arresting 350 people for refusing to disperse or occupying private property.

Bruno Vercken, regional coordinator of the anti-gay marriage movement that took part in protests on Sunday, says that so many Frenchmen are speaking out against the same-sex marriage and adoption law because it violates the rights of the children.

RT: Did the police go too far in the way they dealt with your protest?

Bruno Vercken: Yes, indeed. If you look at the numbers since last November several millions of people have gone into street to protest and you won’t be able to provide any picture nor any film of any broken glass, any burned car, and any violence during the protests themselves. At the same time, many people have been arrested. Several hundred people have been arrested by the police just because they were wearing suits with this logo there [shows the logo of the Anti-Gay Marriage Movement]. No longer than last Saturday, people were arrested in Paris because there were two of them walking together. And, at the same time, many people and no later than two weeks ago when Paris Saint-Germain celebrated this title in the soccer league in France, many people ruined some shops and they were not arrested.

Protesters stand together as riot police surround them on May 26, 2013 in Paris.(AFP Photo / Eric Feferberg) Protesters stand together as riot police surround them on May 26, 2013 in Paris.(AFP Photo / Eric Feferberg)

RT: What are the reasons for the police behaving in this manner towards the same-sex marriage protestors?

BV: The government is extremely surprised and annoyed by the breadth and the length, the duration of the movement. Francois Hollande had not anticipated that allowing same-sex marriage and adoption would create such a concern about so many people in France. He did this promise to satisfy a small lobby, particularly active lobby, who financed his presidential campaign. He didn’t anticipate that same-sex marriage was meaning in France adoption and plenary adoption – which immediately triggers the risk of losing the biological link between the kid and his parents. And in France this is very unique. And people are protesting against that to defend the right of children.

RT: Was this all about your objection to gay-marriage, or was it hijacked by groups with other agendas?

BV: Really not, I’m personally a member of a political party in France, and the takeover of this movement by any political party is clearly not at stake. Many of these people are, by the way, from left or from right so it transcends the classical left-right boundaries.

RT: France is now the ninth European country to legalise gay marriage. Why can't you move with the times?

BV: You could put nine ladies together you wouldn’t be able to create a baby even in one month. And I think people protest here because they… It’s not a matter of being modern, going along with times. It’s really against, at one point in time, to say: Who’s at stake there? Have we thought, have we considered the right of the weakest person there - who’s the kid? And, you know, when a kid has lost his parents, probably, his dearest wish is to be adopted by a man and a woman. You, me are the sons of a man and a woman and in this law there’s a deep lie – imbedded in the law – is to make people believe in the future that they can be born from two men or two women. And this is extremely dangerous and, by the way, we’ll open soon the rights to medically adopted procreation and surrogate mothers, which people in France are extremely worried about and are extremely against.

by Anonymousreply 6105/28/2013

I don't understand why this is such big news now that the French government has already settled the issue. Its a minority of people protesting.

by Anonymousreply 6205/28/2013

R60, I didn't deny the report, I just pointed out the hypocrisy of the gay-baiting Daily Telegraph making a big thing about it.

R62, because Americans still have weird, fucked-up views about the French, no matter what. They can't see the irony of the crappy situation for same-sex marriage and the rights of same-sex couples in the US.

by Anonymousreply 6305/28/2013

France's first gay wedding, being streamed live now by France's national news agency. The best answer to the bigots.

by Anonymousreply 6405/29/2013

r63, so the Daily Telegraph has no right to publish that story? Truth is, the UK is going through the same process with much less resistance and certainly no public upheavals.

by Anonymousreply 6505/29/2013

The Daily Telegraph can publish whatever it wants. Observers can also point out the hypocrisy of it - or are you suggesting we have no right to?

I didn't notice President Hollande's position within his own party become dangerously compromised by the vote on same-sex marriage legislation, nor did ministers of his government come out publicly disagreeing with it. David Cameron even had to appeal to Labour to support the bill, because more Tories voted against the bill than for it.

The French like to take to the streets. And, yeah, a bunch of fucking morons protested. But, like in the UK, the majority of the French populaion is in favour of same-sex marriage - and an even greater majority wants the anti-SSM protests to stop. Even the organisers are distancing themselves from them.

But, well done to the UK and France. We're just waiting for the US now...

In any case, France had its first gay wedding today. And, yet, you still can't bring yourself to acknowledge how great that is. Congratulations Bruno and Vincent!

by Anonymousreply 6605/29/2013

R66, big difference is that Cameron is leader of the *right wing* party. Think it'd even happen with a French right wing party in government? I don't think so.

by Anonymousreply 6705/29/2013

It doesn't have to happen with a French right-wing party in government because France already has gay marriage and so it will never need to be passed again.

I really don't understand what your point is - that the French are nasty and right-wing? That France is homophobic? Bruno and Vincent got married today in Montpellier. Care to comment on that?

by Anonymousreply 6805/29/2013

The opinions of some real French people, not the screaming lunatics. What DL (some of it) would call a "frau" and the Muslim-looking guy think gay marriage is wonderful. The guy who looks really gay thinks gay marriage "could have waited".

by Anonymousreply 6905/29/2013

R68, you were using the backlash that Cameron is facing from some people in his right wing party as evidence that the UK isn't more tolerant than France. Wrong!

by Anonymousreply 7005/29/2013

[quote][R66], big difference is that Cameron is leader of the *right wing* party.

What's that have to do with anything? None of your left wing leaders from the Labour Party even bothered to try to get marriage equality.

by Anonymousreply 7105/29/2013

They went against the will of the people. Its understandable that there are riots.

by Anonymousreply 7205/29/2013

R70, I'm not trying to make any claim about which country is or isn't more tolerant (I'm British and know full well that the people of Britian, bar the Tory fucking lunatics, are in favour of marriage equality). By the way, it's not a "right-wing government" that is passing gay marriage in the UK, it is a Conservative and Liberal Democrat (centrists) coalition government that is passing it, and most conservative MPs, and some government ministers, voted against it. There was even a strategy, through a cunning amendment, by opponents of the bill, to derail it, which is when Cameron had to appeal to the Labour Party not to vote for the amendment and to support the bill as it stood, because he couldn't count on his own MPs.

Many gay people in the UK are pointing to the fact that - even with such loud opposition from a crazy crowd - France got the same-sex marriage through parliament relatively quickly while it's going through a more tortuous process in the UK, with a much bigger threat - MPs who decide on legislation as opposed to what everyone in France knows is a fringe minority.

But, yes, it is great that the UK is going to have same-sex marriage too.

Whatever happened to the idiot who kept making posts about how France was going to back down from same-sex marriage?

We can ignore the idiot at r72, who is probably only taking inspiration from you and your distorted view of the French people. Neither of you can get the fact that most French people support same-sex marriage, the protestors represent a deranged few and the vast majority of people in the country want them to shut up.

You are the one, however, who is unable to shake yourself from your silly claims and even say the slightest positive thing about the fact that France now has gay marriage and the first gay wedding took place yesterday. Not a squeak of congratulations from you for Vincent and Bruno's nuptials!

by Anonymousreply 7305/30/2013

Someone mentioned this before and it's true. The French take to the streets to protest anything and everything, they always have.

by Anonymousreply 7405/30/2013

TrendingRob Ford | Mike Duffy | NHL Playoffs | Andrew Coyne | Trudeau | Tim Bosma | Lotto 6/49 results | Christie Blatchford | Mulcair | London attack | Xbox One | Oklahoma | Bieber | Jays | North Korea Same-sex marriage leaves France not so gay Republish Reprint

Araminta Wordsworth | 13/05/31 | Last Updated: 13/05/30 9:59 PM ET More from Araminta Wordsworth It's official: France's first gay spouses celebrate their marriage GERARD JULIEN / AFP / Getty ImagesIt's official: France's first gay spouses celebrate their marriage

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Full Comment’s Araminta Wordsworth brings you a daily round-up of quality punditry from across the globe. Today: France celebrated its first gay marriage this week.

Vincent Autin, 40, a gay rights activist, and his partner, Bruno Boileau, 30, were pronounced mari et mari at the town hall in Montpellier, southern France.

Security was tight. More than 100 police were on patrol and the building was cordoned off to keep anti-gay marriage protesters at bay. In the event, only a few turned up.

The ceremony comes after months of tumult as lawmakers debated the legislation that makes France only the 14th country in the world — and the ninth in Europe — to legalize gay marriage.

In one protest on the weekend, tens of thousands of antis thronged the Place de la Concorde in Paris — site of the revolutionary guillotine — in a turnout not seen since May 1968. Organizers said up to one million attended, while police put the number at a more modest 150,000.

The protests continue, though surveys show most French are fed up with the subject, now the law has been passed. They would like the government of François Hollande — who has defied convention by not marrying his partner Valerie Trierweiler — to turn its attention to more important things, like skyrocketing unemployment and taxes.

The BBC’s Hugh Schofield believes the French reaction has much to do with the rules surrounding the ceremony itself: a civil ceremony in the couple’s local town hall is obligatory and must be performed before any religious ritual.

In other countries, priests, rabbis or imams who carry out weddings are also acting as civil officials, and the marriage conducted in church, synagogue or mosque is duly registered in law This is the case in other “Catholic” countries like Spain and Portugal, which have recently adopted gay marriage …

However in Spain and Portugal people who oppose gay marriage can continue to get married in church, content with the feeling that “their” marriage has nothing to do with the civil one organized by the state and now open to gay people. But in France, there can be no such separation. The civil marriage is compulsory,

At the Christian Science Monitor, Sarah Miller Liana says the latest protests are unlikely to have any long-lasting effect, unlike les evénéments du Mai that brought down then-president Charles de Gaulle.

“May 1968 was an unpredictable, spontaneous event,” says Jacques Sauvageon, a retired art history professor and key actor during the May 1968 student protests. Protesters in May 1968 had no precise objective, he says, but found a common enemy in the government.

Today, he says, there are several issues, from gay marriage to unemployment, that people are protesting, but their objectives are more disparate and the mood is not one of immediate change, he says. For example, a poll last Friday by the polling group BVA showed that 62% of the French think the protests against gay marriage should stop since it’s already been adopted.

Writing for the U.S. website Truthdig, Richard Reeves notes an ironic coincidence: Sunday’s protests came the same day the jury at the Cannes Film Festival awarded the top prize to Blue Is the Warmest Colour, a long and very explicit film about a teenager’s wakening lesbianism.

Both happenings could be considered surprising or just another sign that France is not so gay these days. … Europe, oddly, seems to be having more trouble accepting same-sex marriages — even in countries where heterosexual couples with children often don’t bother to go through any formal church or civil weddings. Go figure.

In Italy, same-sex marriage is illegal and is going to stay that way for a long time. Still, Giuseppe and Massimiliano, famously in the press, went through a totally extra-legal ceremony last week in Rome with family members cheering them on. In England, a tangling Parliament is pushing through amendments to legalize, or not legalize, same-sex marriage.

Back in Britain, an Anglican bishop has come out in support of gay marriage, just days before the House of Lords prepares to debate the government’s draft legislation. In a letter to Lord Alli, a gay Muslim peer, Nicholas Holtam, the bishop of Salisbury, says there is precedence for Christians changing their views.

Christian morality comes from the mix of Bible, Christian tradition and our reasoned experience.

Sometimes Christians have had to rethink the priorities of the Gospel in the light of experience.

For example, before [anti-slavery crusader William] Wilberforce, Christians saw slavery as Biblical and part of the God-given ordering of creation. Similarly in South Africa the Dutch Reformed Church supported Apartheid because it was Biblical and part of the God-given order of creation. No one now supports either slavery or apartheid. The Biblical texts have not changed; our interpretation has.

by Anonymousreply 7505/31/2013

Wow.. anti-gay France continues to embarrass itself. A homophobe stormed the court at Roland Garros while Nadal and Ferrer were playing.

Face it guys.. France is still pretty much anti-gay and homophobic. Spain is a million times better than France. Trust me. I've been to both countries.

by Anonymousreply 7606/09/2013
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