As France gears up to embrace marriage equality and perhaps even same-sex adoption, the nation has also seen a rise in anti-gay hate crimes and homophobic speech.
In its annual report, SOS Homophobie said it recorded 1,977 calls on its helpline in 2012, a 27 percent increase over the previous year.
The group’s head Elisabeth Ronzier said the last few months of 2012 and the start of this year were “intense” with hate speech increasing sharply, especially on the Internet.
She said incidents had doubled in October and November when compared to the previous year and tripled in December.
Yeesh. Wherever there’s progress there will also be people who aren’t ready to face the facts, and so they react in the worst possible ways. Keep yourselves and each other safe.
Shortly after he gave an interview revealing plans to marry his partner, Thierry Speitel received bullets in the mail.
Homophobia is the norm among France’s top footballers, according to a new survey which found that almost half of professional players are hostile to…
Tuesday’s vote, which concluded ten hours of debate, clears the way for final approval of marriage equality legislation in France. France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, approved the legislation in February by a vote of 329-229. Although additional articles in the legislation will be debated and voted upon through the weekend, advocates believed Tuesday’s vote on Article 1 to be the most substantial hurdle to passing marriage equality in France. Additional articles relate to allowing same-sex couples to adopt and access additional rights of marriage, and must be voted on individually.
Despite sizable protests in opposition, the bill is now expected to pass the Senate, and be signed into law by French president François Hollande, reports SDGLN. Hollande campaigned on a promise to pass marriage equality legislation, supported by the Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and the ruling Socialist Party. U.S. advocacy groups lauded the vote in favor of equality.
“France is poised to become the latest country —16 on four continents — where loving and committed gay couples can share in the freedom to marry, and it won’t be the last this year,” said Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson in a statement. “Like France, the United States extols liberty, equality, and fairness; it is time for our country, too, to end the denial of marriage and live up to our best values.”
Read more here.
This is how the Mormon Jon Huntsman, a former contestant of the Republican Party, announced his support for gay marriage in the magazine The American Conservative. A hundred barons “Grand Old Party” have, as a former governor of Utah, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to prohibit the “Proposition 8,” a law that prevents gay marriage in California. Going against the current Republican leader John Boehner, in agreement with the White House, the Republican petition encourages the highest court in the country to declare the unconstitutionality of the measure in California, a verdict that would require the recognition of gay marriage in throughout the United States.
It may seem strange for a party whose presidential candidate Mitt Romney supported the federal ban gay marriage during his campaign in autumn 2012. And yet, this is a few years that the idea pops into the minds Republicans gay marriage would be a right idea. A conservative idea, strictly speaking, as stated periodically former campaign manager for George W. Bush, Ken Melhman (foto), who made his coming out three years ago. In France, there are the UMP in favor of marriage for all on the fingers of one hand. The American right would it be more open than the French right?
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Anti gay marriage and gay adoption protestors demonstrate, in Paris, Sunday, March. 24, 2013. Thousands of French conservatives, families and activists have converged on the capital to try to stop the country from allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. The lower house of France’s parliament approved the “marriage for everyone” bill last month with a large majority, and it’s facing a vote in the Senate next month. Both houses are dominated by French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Paris riot police fought back crowds who pushed their way onto Paris’ landmark Champs-Elysees avenue as part of a huge protest against a draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children. Hundreds of thousands of people — conservative activists, children, retirees, priests — converged on the capital Sunday in a last-ditch bid to stop the bill, many bused in from the French provinces. The lower house of France’s parliament approved the “marriage for everyone” bill last month with a large majority, and it’s facing a vote in the Senate next month. Both houses are dominated by French President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party and its allies.
Sustained protests led by opposition conservatives in this traditionally Catholic country have eroded support for the draft law in recent months, and organizers hope Sunday’s march will weigh on the Senate debate. The first few hours of the protest were peaceful. But as it was meant to be winding down, about 100 youths tried to push past police barricades onto the Champs-Elysees, the avenue that cuts through central Paris and draws throngs of tourists daily. In an indication of the sensitivity of the issue, protesters had been barred from marching on the Champs.
Police officers wrangled with the youths and then fired tear gas to force them back. Gaining momentum, more and more protesters took side streets to reach the avenue, blocking a key intersection on the route to the president’s Elysee Palace. Police fired more tear gas but were unable to block the crowds from spilling onto the avenue.
“Hollande, Resignation!” the protestors chanted, before breaking into the French anthem, “La Marseillaise.”
The demonstrations have become outlets for anger and disappointment in Hollande’s presidency. An official with the Paris police headquarters said two people were arrested and no injuries were reported. The police official was not authorized to be publicly named in accordance with police policy. The official estimated that 300,000 people took part in Sunday’s march, slightly less than a similar march in January. Organizers estimated more than 1.2 million people took part in Sunday’s march, more than in the January protest.
Polls indicate a shrinking majority of French voters back gay marriage, which is legal in about a dozen mostly European nations and some U.S. states. But polls show French voters are less enthusiastic about adoption by same-sex couples. Frigide Barjot, the stage name of an activist who has led protests against the bill, insisted the anti-gay marriage movement wasn’t a lost cause. “It’s the second round, sir. It’s not the last battle.”
The lower house of France’s Parliament today passed a bill granting marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples, moving it a step closer to becoming law. The National Assembly approved the bill by a vote of 329-229, and it now goes to the Senate, where passage is likely, the Associated Press reports. The bill has the support of the Socialist Party, which controls the Senate. That is also the party of President François Hollande and Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.
“This law is going to extend to all families the protections guaranteed by the institution of marriage,” Ayrault said before the vote, according to the AP. “Contrary to what those who vociferate against it say — fortunately they’re in the minority — this law is going to strengthen the institution of marriage.”
Added Socialist representative Corinne Narassiguin: “This law is a first necessary step, a social evolution that benefits society overall. Opening up marriage and adoption to homosexual couples is a very beautiful advance. … It is an emblematic vote, a vote that will mark history.” France joins the United Kingdom in making a move toward marriage equality; they would be the largest European countries with equal marriage rights for gay couples.
An important article that’s part of legislation to approve same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples in France sailed through the national assembly. Voting 249-97, the lower house of the French parliament approved the article that would grant marriage equality to France’s same-sex couples. The remainder of the legislation, which includes a contentious article to legalize adoption by gays, will be debated in the coming week. The huge vote in favor of gay rights appears to indicate the adoption provision will pass too. The Roman Catholic Church is deeply opposed to the legislation.
Marriage equality and adoption by gays has been surprisingly controversial in France, a supposed bastion of liberal attitudes.
According to France24, French Police estimates that at least 125,000 people joined the rally for gay marriage in Paris, France. As participants poured into the south of the capital many tweeted that they would not be discouraged by the rainy weather. The rally started at Denfert-Rochereau square and made its way to the direction of the Bastille, Paris, banners included ‘Homosexuality is not a choice: Equality is’, ‘Equality of rights is not a threat’ and so on… The rally was led by a banner saying ‘Equality Now, always against discrimination’ starting shortly after 2 pm. Among the demonstrators were prominent politicians, including the chair of the Socialist Party , Harlem Désir, and the former Minister of Health, Roselyne Bachelot, of the opposition UMP party. Defying the UMP’s official stance against marriage equality Bachelot said: The bill will give more rights to same-sex parents’. She added: ‘I am for medically assisted procreation to be open for women’.
In an interview to the weekly Journal du Dimanche, French justice minister Christiane Taubira reiterated today her belief that the bill will correct ‘a situation of flagrant inequality.
‘The bill simply gives the same rights and duties to same-sex couples: the conditions of marriage will remain unchanged’, she said addressing opponents who allege the ‘nature’ of the family will be challenged. This bill will protect all families. It will protect children’s rights’, she said, adding that hundreds of thousands of children currently live in homo-parental families in France, but lack the same security as their hetero-parental peers.’
In an interview with France 24, Nicolas Gougain, spokesperson for the Inter-LGBT association said: ‘We’re not demonstrating in response to our opposition. We’ve been demonstrating for 10 years already. But this time we hope to surpass the numbers reached at our last march on December 16 [organisers said 150,000 took part, police put the number at 60,000]’. Gougain described the opponents of marriage equality as a ‘product of unapologetic homophobia in France … largely driven by fear and doubt, something which the opposition is good at aggravating’.
‘Some of those people believe that giving homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals will destabilise society. Or that homosexual parents are potentially dangerous for their children’.
Support for marriage and adoption equality has actually risen over the past month, despite the active opposition movement. A poll carried out by Ifop for news website Atlantico.fr last week showed that the proportion of French people who support gay marriage rose from 60% to 63% between early and late January.
The National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) Brian Brown recently traveled to Paris, where he enthusiastically reported on the French anti-gay marriage demonstrations, which are said to have drawn thousands.
Calling his trip “a blessing,” Brown is seen in video footage visiting Parisian landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc Arc de Triomphe, where he observes, “People are very clear they do not support [French President Francois] Hollande’s move…to redefine marriage.”
Though France is considered to be generally tolerant towards its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) residents, same-sex marriage has nonetheless been a particularly hot topic throughout the nation in recent months. Hollande’s proposed legislation, which could be voted on as early as next month, would mark the biggest step forward for French LGBT rights advocates in more than a decade.
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Good as You writer Jeremy Hooper, though, uncovered the folks behind the French opposition site: the National Organization for Marriage. The site was created by “none other than Texan Colton Brugger, the OPUSFidelis tech guy who does all of the National Organization For Marriage’s web work.”
Hooper added that NOM president Brian Brown is actually in France, presumably to help agitate local Catholics who were the largest number of participants in this weekend’s protests. Back2Stonewall’s Will Kohler dubbed the weekend “Colton Brugger, Brian Brown, and the National Organization for Marriage starring in Les Doucherables!”
Police estimate about 120,000 people took to Paris’ streets today to protest marriage equality there. Organizers, mostly Catholics who believe in “traditional marriage” or secular activists who oppose same-sex couples raising children, claim about 500,000 people turned out.
Either way, it was a massive rally, just the latest indication that the Socialist government led by President François Hollande faces stiff, sustained opposition to their plan to expand marriage laws to include same-sex couples.
The BBC has a report from the action:
Tens 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 were converging on the Champs de Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower.
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.
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 organizers 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.
I’ve included a video report from today’s protest AFTER THE JUMP.
Activists of the association against AIDS poured fake blood to protest against the stance of the former Socialist minister Georgina Dufoix on marriage for all. A pool of blood on the steps of the Grand Palais. Provocation is signed Act Up and aims Georgina Dufoix, the former Minister of Social Affairs and National Solidarity of François Mitterrand. Implicated in the tainted blood scandal, it was declared “responsible but not guilty” in 1991 - a famously - and was acquitted in 1999 by the Court of Justice of the Republic.
Come to give a press conference with the group The Manif for all the center of the foreign press in Paris, Georgina had Dufoix this Thursday morning to explain the reasons for his participation in the rally on 13 January against the bill on gay marriage.
But after the happening of the association against AIDS, the former president of the French Red Cross has canceled his speech. After the rapid dispersion of members of Act Up, the police had come to secure the premises to enable the former Socialist minister to speak.
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Baby Sacha was born between midnight and one minute past on January 1, in the central French town of Moulin, becoming the first recorded baby born in 2013. So far, only the birth mother has legal rights over the child since the couple is not married - which would change if the new, “marriage for all” bill passes, as expected.
Both moms said they hoped to marry as soon as it becomes legally possible to do so.
The online survey, published in the weekly magazine Valeurs actuelles, found 86 percent of supporters of France’s major conservative party, the UMP, favoured a referendum. Eighty-four percent of supporters for the National Front, the far-right party, would support a referendum, compared to 55 percent of left-wing voters.
The French national assembly is due to consider a bill later this month legalising same-sex marriage and the right for homosexual couples to adopt children. The survey was conducted between 18th and 20th December using a representative sample of the French adult population.