The official organisation representing both France's dairy and beef herds has issued a statement demanding that the draft legislation dubbed "Mariage pour tous" or "Marriage for everyone" be taken literally and be extended to allow cows to tie the knot.
|La Normande (from Wikipedia)|
Speaking from her pasture in northwestern France, the president of "Oh la vache!", Marguerite la Normande, told reporters that the current proposals were clearly discriminatory.
"At the last count there were more than 3.5 million dairy cows in France alone and everyone knows that we constitute a vital part of the rural economy," she said.
"It's just not fair that the debate so far has centred on marriage between two men or two women. What about us? We also have feelings," she continued.
"And we have the means to protest and get our point across," she added.
"Just imagine the effect it would have, for example, on cheese production, if we up-uddered tomorrow and refused to be milked."
La Normande's "Oh la vache!" has already had what she describes as "moo-ving support" from several government ministers, but there has not yet been any official response from the Elysée palace.
That might be down to the fact that Hollande is still busy trying to work out what he meant when he told the national mayors’ conference earlier this week that the country's locally-elected mayors would have "freedom of conscience" to decide whether to perform marriage ceremonies and then appeared to do a U-turn the following day,
But if the French president has been slow to react, the same cannot be said for groups opposed to "Mariage pour tous".
"It's this sort of threat that the Archbishop of Lyon, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, warned against last month," said a spokesman for the movement Civitas, well-known for its objective and humanistic opinions on all social matters.
"The very basis upon which French society is built is in danger if the proposals for same-sex marriage become law," he continued.
"Cardinal Barbarin said it was one step on the road to legalising incest and polygamy - in fact the very destruction of all our principles and morals. And here's the proof now, with cows also wanting to marry. Never!"
La Normande, who has personal reasons for feeling so strongly about the issue, hopes that her organisation will be able to persuade the French president to introduce a new clause into the draft proposals, although she admits she doesn't have a great deal of faith in Hollande sticking to his initial election promise, let alone meeting her demands.
"He's a man who seems to enjoy chewing the cud almost as much as I do, and never actually making up his mind," she said.
"Still I remain hopeful he'll take on board how important this issue is to the French bovine population and take into account our own person feelings," she continued.
"I've been engaged to a bull at a neighbouring farm for over a year. He already has the ring in his nose and I'm just waiting for him to be able to put it on my hoof."