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Monday, 14 January 2013

Mass demo in Paris against same-sex marriage

Millions of people descended on Paris on Sunday for the first weekend of the winter sales...sorry, that should read to march against the government's proposals that people of the same sex be allowed to married and adopt children.

All right then, perhaps the figure is a bit of an exaggeration, but why not. After all the difference between the official figure - 350,000 according to the police - and that provided by the organisers - 800,000 - was quite hefty.

Whatever. There were a lot of disgruntled people in Paris expressing their non-homophobic views.

It wasn't homophobia because nobody actually had anything against gay men and lesbians.

Oh no. It was just the idea - shock, horror - that gay and lesbian couples could have exactly the same rights as those of heterosexuals with lawmakers thinking of "catching up" with what has been popular opinion for some time now (opponents to "Mariage pour tous" would probably point out that even though there's majority support among the population for same-sex marriage, the French are not quite as overwhelmingly in favour as they once were ).

No, no. Not homophobia or any form of discrimination at all. Just "don't extend any rights to a minority group because...well, it's just not proper."

According to the banners held aloft by many on Sunday's demonstration, marriage can only be between two people of the opposite sex. That's what counts as "normal" isn't it?.

What's more marriage is the very foundation of a traditional family values.

Forget about statistics (which as we all know can never be trusted) showing that 55 per cent of first children are born (say this very quietly) out of wedlock.

That's obviously just your pro-gay lobby massaging the figures to fit their own purposes.

Oh, and did you know that the French need a referendum on the subject. It's vital.

The current government is trying to force through unwanted legislation that was part of François Hollande's manifesto when he successfully ran for president and once again part of the Socialist party's platform when it won a working majority in the parliamentary elections last June.

"We need to hear what people think," said former minister and opposition parliamentarian Laurent Wauquiez, quite rightly not believing anything opinion polls have had to say about the matter for several years now.

Absolutely M. Wauquiez. Um side issue - Hhow come you were marching along side your party's de facto president Jean-François "always good for a photo' op'" Copé but the geezer you supported in the UMP leadership battle, François Fillon, was absent.

Ah yes, there's also the need for a debate - a proper debate. Not the one that has been rumbling on and on and on in the media over the past couple of months.

Of course France is only a representative democracy with a parliament stuffed to the gills with those wanting to discuss and debate proposed legislation before voting on it.

The justice minister Christiane Taubira reminded all those who've been complaining about the so-called lack of discussion of that fact during an interview on TF1 shortly after all the demonstrators had contentedly packed up and gone home.

"Parliamentarians - no matter what their political beliefs - will have ample to chance to express their opinions when the proposals are debated in parliament," she said.

"Over the past five months, no single subject has been discussed as much as this one - both within the government at all levels and by the the debate has taken place and continues to do so."

The organisers of Sunday's march had the good sense to keep the ever-so-slightly intolerant Civitas - who had turned a similar march in November into a less-than glorious display of democracy at work  - out of the picture.

They had their own separate demo.

But that didn't prevent Xavier Bongibault the president of the group "Plus gay sans mariage" and one of the rally's most prominent figures (along with actress Frigide Barjot) from shooting himself in the foot when he "didn't compare Hollande with Adolf Hitler"

Yes. Quite.

Fingers crossed on this one. There's no going back and let's just hope the government manages to pass the reform and bring France into the 21st century.

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