France’s Religious Right is attempting a last ditch effort to derail marriage equality legislation by addinng some 4,661 amendments including provisions to legalize incest and child marriage. Have they no shame?
France’s marriage equality bill was introduced into parliament on the 29th of January and is set for a grueling two weeks of debate throughout which it is predicted the minority right of center parties will attempt to attach every poisonous amendment they can.
Those amendments are said to include certainly debatable issues like multiple partner marriage, but also venture deep into outrageous territory with incest and child marriage.
There are also reports of some bizarre little gems in the list including those to combat what French lawmakers say will be a deluge of gay immigrants descending on France; an amendment to abolish civil marriage in its entirety; an amendment to impose that same-sex couples be forced to take on the name of the registrar officiating their marriage, supposedly to recognize the “merit” of registrars–how nice; and an amendment to ensure that the biological father of any child born to married same-sex couples be recognized first, this over supposed fears that the bill is the “death knell” for presumptive parenthood.
These attempts at derailing the bill have, however, been brushed off by France’s majority socialist party, with Prime Minister Jean Marc-Ayrault saying that he had expected such opposition but that in the end it will not matter. This is most likely the case as President Hollande backs the legislation, his party holds an outright majority in parliament, and the legislation is also supported by a number of centrist parties.
While there has been significant but not overwhelming opposition among France’s general public, including the carefully orchestrated march of some 300,000 anti-equality demonstrators on January 13, a tentative majority of French people when asked in impartial polls seem to favor the change, something that was bolstered by the pragmatic yet still abysmal jettisoning of language in the bill that would have conferred adoption rights to same-sex couples.
President Hollande and his party has remained resolute that the legislation would pass, this made clear in an impassioned, and what the media has called “historic,” speech made by Justice Minister Christiane Taubria who told parliament upon commencement of the debate that the legislation was “an act of equality.” She also challenged opponents in a way few legislators have, asking, “We want to know: what will the marriage of homosexual couples take away from heterosexual couples?” She closed by saying that the party was “proud” of its support for the marriage equality bill.
In stark contrast, that France’s Religious Right would even contemplate playing such a despicable hand, as though children in forced marriages are pawns in their game and not victims of sinister (and nearly always religious conservative) oppression, betrays a true lack of ethical thinking that should shame each and every one of them.
And to our American friend Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage who has been in raptures these past few weeks over France’s Religious Right and their impotent march against marriage equality, are you proud now Brian?
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