Saturday, January 12, 2013

Equality, but not for everyone!

One of the 60 promises that the French president Hollande made when he was still candidate against the bling-bling Sarkozy was as clear as crystal: "J’ouvrirai le droit au mariage et à l’adoption aux couples homosexuels" ("I will open the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual partners").

Two fierce election rounds later, François Hollande has won the French presidency with 51.7% of the vote, meaning that when the time came to propose *the* law, even cosmeticized under the more appealing name of "Marriage for everyone", he still had to convince at least the rest 48.3% of the French population. He must know better than anyone that convincing the French of something they're not already convinced proves to be mission impossible, that's why the whole process promises a great show in perspective. Stay tuned!

Since last October Versailles is in uproar over the subject and all the parties I attended in the latest months were full with outraged mothers, fathers (and their 'grand-' versions), eager to explain to whomever crossed their path why this law is so profoundly wrong (then they would ask everyone in a menacing voice to know who was for or against it!). In a town where the people are renowned for its right wing political views (conservative and religious: a much esteemed royal heritage) there is no wonder why the law is so offending, knowing that the marriage is an important and sacred religious ritual. (In France there is a way to legal partnership between gay partners called PACS, but it has limited powers, especially related to succession rights or children adoption.)

The mayor, in his quality of first citizen of Versailles, publicly declared that he is personally against the "marriage for everyone" law (echoing the opinion of his people) and voted together with the city council the following motion submitted afterwards to the government: "The local councilors of the City of Versailles ask the government to organize a national debate on the project of law that opens the marriage and adoption to persons of the same sex, following the same example of the one held on the subject of bioethics. The reform under consideration would have major consequences for our society; it imposes without a doubt a widened consultation process. The French people cannot be deprived of this debate that affects every one of them."

These last few days were particularly active around here, with militants handing arduously the following leaflet (which all Versaillers already had in their inboxes, some even several times) advertising the great protest march taking place tomorrow in Paris.

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