A French senator has decided to offer his opinion on France’s attempt to legalize same-sex marriage and gay adoption, and it’s hilariously apocalyptic.
Senator Serge Dassault, Speaking to France Culture radio, is quoted as saying that gay marriage would mean there would be no people having babies, which in turn would lead to France’s downfall:
“We’ll have a land of homos. And then in 10 years there will be no-one left. It’s stupid,” the 87-year-old told France Culture radio.
He said homosexuality was one of the causes of decadence in ancient Greece.
“Total decadence, of course. It’s the end of the family, it’s the end of the children’s development, it’s the end of education. It’s a danger for the entire nation,” said Dassault.
In campaigning to become France’s president, Francois Hollande appealed to the progressive agenda saying that he would back legalizing same-sex marriage and greater equality in how France’s adoption laws treat gay couples, who currently are unable to adopt.
And, following through on that promise, the French cabinet this week passed a draft bill that would be the first step in doing just that.
The draft law would amend current statutes to define marriage as a union “contracted between two persons of different sex or of the same sex.” The bill would also allow married gay couples to adopt children.
There were some concessions in the proposed legislation however. For instance, the bill does not include state aid for artificial insemination and other forms of medical assistance for gay couples looking to have children. This is despite such aid being readily available for heterosexual married couples.
The legislation is expected to be taken up by Parliament by relatively early next year. Hollande’s socialist party enjoys a strong majority in both chambers and as such the legislation is expected to pass.
That’s not to say that religious conservatives are not doing all they can to campaign against the move.
Most recently France’s top Catholic prelate, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, weighed in on the debate saying the government should be focusing on the economy rather than on “secondary” matters:
“We regret that the government’s choice focuses public attention so much on an issue that’s actually secondary,” Vingt-Trois told the closing session of a conference of French bishops in the southwestern pilgrimage town of Lourdes.
“The priority concerns plaguing our fellow citizens (are) the consequences of the economic and financial crisis – factory closings, rising unemployment, growing insecurity of the poorest families,” he said.
This as though to suggest that lawmakers are only able to take action on one item at a time, something that is, thankfully, demonstrably false. The cardinal has also called the bill a “deception” and “fraud” saying that gay marriage risked harming children and that it would be “the marriage of a few imposed on everyone.”
High-profiled Muslim clerics and Protestant and Orthodox Christians have also joined the Catholic Church in opposing the plans.
The BBC reports that more than 1,000 of France’s mayors have signed a petition against the proposed changes. It notes that there have also been protests in 75 towns and cities.
Even so, polls currently suggest that marriage equality is favored by a majority of French people (around 60 percent), though they remain more cautious of same-sex parent child rearing which hovers at the 50 percent threshold.
As much as we may enjoy the doom-mongering of our friends Cardinal Vingt-Trois and Senator Dessault we should also point out that legalizing gay marriage does not also have the immediate effect of either converting all straight people to homosexuality or immediately rendering all men and women infertile.
We know this because France, were it to legalize same-sex marriage at the national level, would join eleven other nations including the Netherlands and Spain who have already taken that step to no ill effect amidst much celebration from those who support marriage equality.