Tuesday, April 23, 2013

France falls...

PARIS (AP) — France legalized gay marriage on Tuesday after a wrenching national debate and protests that flooded the streets of Paris. Legions of officers and water cannon stood ready near France's National Assembly ahead of the final vote, bracing for possible violence on an issue that galvanized the country's faltering conservative movement.

The measure passed easily in the Socialist-majority Assembly, 331-225, just minutes after the president of the legislative body expelled a disruptive protester in pink, the color adopted by French opponents of gay marriage. - Full story.

That's too bad.

The Church's journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken. - Pope Francis


  1. Truly a sad day indeed and so many in this country of our own are sleeping while the time to pray and to speak is now, lest we find ourselves in the same miserable defeat.

  2. There was an interesting article over at 'The Huffington Post' about the situation in France. Part of it reads:

    "Gay marriage may have passed with barely hitch in many countries, but it has kicked up a huge storm in France, a country often seen as the champion of secularism and notoriously relaxed on issues pertaining to private life.

    ". . . The divisions over gay marriage in France follow political lines, and the opposition has united against the bill, seizing an opportunity to pile pressure on an already embattled administration.

    "'It was the first chance for the right-wing electorate to express their opposition to Francois Hollande's presidency and (Prime Minister) Jean-Marc Ayrault's government,' political analyst Jean-Yves Camus said.

    While the state is fiercely secular, the gay marriage bill showed that a significant section of French society remains staunchly Catholic and conservative.

    ". . . During the string of demonstrations opposing the bill, some of which drew hundreds of thousands of protesters, families marched alongside royalists, fundamentalist Catholics and far-right nationalists.

    Opinion polls have routinely indicated that while a majority of French people support gay marriage, a slight majority opposes adoption rights for homosexual couples.

    . . . "Jean-Yves Camus argued that the fervour the issue has stirred up in France was 'the legacy of a past that still excites passions more than two centuries after the dawn of the republic.' The separation between church and state was a blood-drenched affair in France -- and two centuries on, the divisions still remain, Camus argued.

    "Catholic fundamentalists may be a small minority, but they are deeply rooted one. And there are still those on the right who will never accept the legitimacy of a left-wing government. [However, one commentator has] predicted that the bill's supporters would prevail as the other camp was coming apart at the seams, with protests generally losing steam or being hijacked by radical fringe groups."



  3. +JMJ+

    I heard the news from a French client last week. She was the kind of lady who really believes in equality and all that: she bragged a little about her son having Algerian classmates. But she was delightful, really, and I got the sense that she was a very hands-on parent.

    A few days later, I was doing speaking exercises for the first conditional with another learner, and the talk having turned to politics, I asked her to finish the sentence: "I will join a demonstration in the capital if ____." She said: "I will join a demonstration in the capital if they don't throw out homosexual marriage." This was a bit surprising because she was the quiet sort and I couldn't imagine her protesting much, but there you go.

    The French are so interesting! =)

  4. From what I understand, the French can be surprisingly conservative at times.


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