Support for gay marriage in France declines as government pushes bill
French President Hollande promised to legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples when he became president. But now that he's following through, the issue is becoming divisive.
(Page 2 of 2)
The poll found 58 percent of those surveyed supported legalizing marriage for gay couples, down from 63 percent in 2011.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
By contrast, the proportion of those against gay marriage went up from 33 percent in 2011 to 41 percent. Some 50 percent of respondents said they supported adoption for gay couples, while 47 percent of those surveyed said they opposed it. In 2011, 56 percent of those surveyed supported adoption for gay couples while 40 percent opposed it.
Weeks of rallies...
More than 1,000 supporters of the bill gathered Wednesday evening near the National Assembly, France’s lower chamber of Parliament, holding banners demanding equality between straight and gay couples. The participants formed a rope made of children's clothes on the public square where they gathered. They raised their arms and held the clothes above their heads to signify that the children of gay couples are so far invisible in the eyes of law.
“What do you want?” shouted an organizer to the protesters, who shouted back, “Equality!”
“When do you want it?” the organizer then asked. “Now!” the crowd responded.
Marie-Claude Picardat, the co-president of the Association of Gay and Lesbian Parents and Future Parents, says her group is “extremely happy, extremely moved” by the unveiling of the bill but she wishes the government would add more measures, such as medically assisted procreation – including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization – for lesbian couples.
“Our disappointment, however, is extremely strong because a law of this kind will not allow a real recognition of gay families with children,” Ms. Picardat told the Monitor at the rally. “It will not facilitate the constitution of families, and it doesn’t allow, in spite of everything, a strict equality between gay and straight people.”
Caroline Gallais, a humanitarian worker from Paris, says she attended the rally “to defend my right to marry the woman I love and have children with her.”
Pro-life group Alliance Vita held several demonstrations against marriage and adoption for gay people across France on Oct. 23, with over 700 people attending a rally in Paris’ business district La Défense.
... and protests
At the heart of the anti-equality protests, which included choreographed skits, the message was clear: A child should be raised by both a mother and a father.
Women dressed in white sat on one side and men dressed in black sat on the other in a large public square. Many held a pink banner reading; “A Dad. A Mom. You don’t lie to children.” An actor wearing a full-length grey bodysuit and holding a green cardboard wing labeled “Dad” in his right hand and a pink wing labeled “Mom” in his left one, stumbled down the aisle between seated women and men. The actor kept stumbling, as if he was going to collapse, but his pace grew steady as the group of men shouted “Mom!” and the women shouted “Dad!”
This choreography was repeated multiple times as the group’s delegate general Tugdual Derville warned the crowd against the dangers of gay marriage.
“Here is a bill that aims to disturb the father-mother balance inside the couple of parents even though you well know that this balance is the best structure offered to the child in order for him or her to grow up,” Mr. Derville said.
The bill is expected to pass next year because the Socialist Party has a majority of seats in both parliamentary chambers.