France: Anti-gay protesters still unclear on the concept

Hmm . . . File this one under “Déjà vu” . . .

The GMA Network has a report from Reuters saying thousands of demonstrators are gathering in Paris and Lyon today to protest against . . . gay marriage? No, this is not an old news report from last year, when thousands of people were hyped up by clergypeople and others and took to the avenues to stage violent, hateful protests against equal rights for same-sex couples. Today’s report is dated Sunday, February 2, 2014.

So, are the protesters caught in a time warp? Did they not get the news that same-sex marriage is legal in France now? That they lost their bigoted attempt to dictate the parameters of love and relationships between consenting adults?

Personally, I can’t believe I’m even reporting this today, and am wondering about the fried mushrooms we had for breakfast. Is this the beginning of another surreal week — ’cause, you know, it seems to be the time of the season for surreal news (as regular readers of my Gazette blog have seen in some of last week’s items).

Sigh . . .

According to the Reuters report:

President François Hollande’s government has dismissed speculation that it plans to increase access to medically-assisted procreation and surrogacy for gay couples – which is nonetheless one of the protest themes.

The introduction of an “Equality ABC” program to French elementary schools has also spawned outrage among traditionalists, amid internet rumors that small children are to be taught gender theory.

The protests are organized by “Demonstration for All”, a right-wing umbrella group that emerged in response to the gay marriage law, passed last year.

And this:

The protests come amid heightened tensions over an upsurge in racist incidents that have blighted French public life and drawn condemnation from across the parliamentary spectrum.

I am so glad that my ancestors left France.

Jillian

5 thoughts on “France: Anti-gay protesters still unclear on the concept

  1. Although I see your argument, I do have two points of criticism:

    Firstly, you say this: “Did they not get the news that same-sex marriage is legal in France now? That they lost their bigoted attempt to dictate the parameters of love and relationships between consenting adults?”

    That’s a little weird… Are you actually saying that if someone loses a political argument, they should give up? Are you then not saying that we should give up on trying to make equal marriage legal in the US? And that we shouldn’t try to legalise homosexual activity in certain African countries, just because we’ve failed in our efforts before? Or do views you agree with deserve different rules than views you do not agree with?

    Of course, I also believe that it is ridiculous that these people oppose gay rights, but that doesn’t mean that we deserve privileges that they don’t. We live in a democracy, and that means that even people you disagree with can protest. So I believe that the sentence I quoted above is a little closed-minded.

    The second criticism I have is to that last sentence: “I am so glad that my ancestors left France.”

    Are you saying that these things only happen in France? Because I’m pretty sure it’s a whole lot worse in the US. There are precious few countries in this world where they don’t have protests against gay rights, so as sad as it might be, France is no exception there. In fact, even though I am probably quite prejudiced against France due to negative stereotypes and the “wonderful” French teacher I had, even I have to admit that France’s politics actually aren’t all that bad. It’s a very progressive country, and that also goes for gay rights.

    So I wouldn’t judge too quickly about this.

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    1. Hi, Dean. Same-sex marriage has been legalized in France; hence, the protests are in vain, because the government is certainly not going to make it illegal only months after making it legal.

      I don’t live in the U.S. I live in Quebec, Canada. Of course I support people trying to win equality for same-sex couples. I do not support anti-gay protesters, and I don’t feel their protests are an exercise in democracy.

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      1. Right, that’s a good point: it is quite unlikely that anything will change. But how about Russia then? The anti-gay law was passed on the 29th of June 2013, and protests have been ongoing ever since. Why do we think that that can change while France’s equal marriage law cannot? Why do we need these double standards?

        Canada is of course a different story (I apologise for my assumption, I could not find your nationality in your bio, and since you mentioned ancestors moving away, I assumed you were from the US), but the differences between the two countries aren’t that major. France has an extremely liberal political environment that only very few countries can rival. Just look at their health care system.

        Finally, can you explain how anti-gay protesters are not exercising democracy? Democracy is about allowing people to have opinions and to express them, and even though that should have a certain limit, a widely contested issue such as gay marriage is hardly over that limit. Even though we both disagree with their views, allowing them to voice their opinion is exactly what a democracy is about. You cannot forbid them to do so, because if you do, you are not only being hypocritical, but you might be disadvantaging yourself in the future, as you might be the one protesting against a newly passed law by then.

        Of course, us humans are always very quick to value our own opinions above everyone else’s, but that doesn’t make it justified. As proponents of gay rights, we should be the ones who are open-minded, so it would be very bad if we tried to take away their right to free speech. After all, wouldn’t that make us just as tyrannical and autocratic as those people we oppose?

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      2. I think we need to draw a line on just how much bigotry people are allowed to express in public demonstrations. For example: most cities would probably not allow Nazis to stage protests calling to strip Jews of equal rights. Nor would they allow white supremists to stage demonstrations calling for blacks to be enslaved.

        France is permitting bigots to protest against equal rights for gay people today, but has warned that it will not tolerate violence. Still, there probably will be violence, just as there was last year during demos there. Innocent people were beaten; one gay man died. Sooner or later, France will have to ban anti-gay demos if for no other reason than public safety.

        I understand what you are saying: a democracy allows people to express undemocratic views and their desires to oppress the rights of people and to protest in the streets, to a point. Democracy allows people to try to overthrow democracy, to a point. And it also allows me to criticize that process and to criticize those who would take away equal rights.

        The issue of gay marriage in France is moot now; the exercise today is largely symbolic and is probably being used to further the political aims of people seeking power.

        I don’t see anything democratic about the demonstration today. It is an exercise in hate. And understand that some of those bigots would like to see gay people imprisoned or executed. Democracy has to draw a line at hate . . . in my humble opinion.

        Cheers

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  2. -agrees with your statement: “The issue of gay marriage in France is moot now; the exercise today is largely symbolic and is probably being used to further the political aims of people seeking power.”

    and/or…Maybe these people had nothing else to do today.. so they woke up and figured…. hmmm.. who else can we harass & put down today?

    So many important things in the global village to protest.. like fighting for good healthcare for ALL, making sure we have abundant supplies of critically needed medications, finding research money for treatments/cures, clean water and clean air, equal rights for ALL…fighting against poverty.. fighting against ALL discrimination…

    Why can’t there be rallies promoting PEACE AND LOVE????? It’s SO much easier and so much more beneficial..

    Personally, I think people fear what they do NOT understand..and if they took the time to learn and study and leave their own backyards to experience the real world, there would be more understanding of people unlike themselves.. that’s why I have always encouraged world travel..

    Also it’s critical for parents and mentors to teach kids from an early age to be accepting, loving, giving, & caring individuals, and set a good example… I see no reason for hatred… life is difficult enough..

    Just my 2 cents for what they are worth.. Have a great Superbowl Sunday!!!

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