http://www.english.rfi.fr/france/201303 ... o-fired-up
Various reports down here mention growing opposition to gay marriage in France with much of the violent responses coming from 'North Africans' (which is media code for 'muslims').
Forgive me if my response to hearing the muslims going ballistic over gay marriage is best shown as:
That's because I'm left to wonder how long it will be before the left has to pick between two of their favorite constituencies who are obviously not all that fond of each other at the moment.
It’s impossible to say how many people demonstrated in Paris on Sunday, the gap between the figures is risibly large: 1 million 400,000 according to the organisers, 300,000 in total, say the police.More at the link and around the web.
There is also disagreement about the conduct of demonstrators and the police operation to contain them. Six people are now in police custody, after 98 were arrested last night, following angry clashes, during which police used teargas.
Amid claims that right-wing extremists infiltrated the march or that children in pushchairs were affected by teargas, tempers are running high.
What is clear is that in France, opposition to gay marriage is not dying down. A bill opening up marriage to homosexual couples was passed in the French lower house of parliament in February, and the Senate is due to begin examining the text on 4 April.
French campaigners against gay marriage, which under French law would automatically include the right to adopt children, say they will oppose any such law all the way to the European Court of Human Rights.
Many outside France and even within, are puzzled by the level of passion the issue has stirred in the country.
Senior figures in the French Catholic Church have spoken out against gay marriage, but in a country where by law, religion and state must be kept separate, they are not actually running the campaign.
Organisers have anyway been active in also recruiting supporters from France’s Muslim and Jewish communities.
So why in France, where religious observation is relatively low, has the bill met much stiffer opposition than, for example, in very Catholic Portugal?
Although Socialist president François Hollande made clear in his election campaign that he was in favour of legalising gay marriage, there is now a widely-held view that he is pushing the gay marriage bill to boost his left-wing credentials, as the dire economic situation prevents him from delivering on some other election hopes.
Few doubt the commitment of his Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, who earned huge admiration in parliament, even among opponents of the bill, for her passionate espousal of the law and her dedication during long all-night sittings in a draughty parliament building.
But many opponents of gay marriage and adoption are angry that such an important and probably irreversible change in family relationships, should be the subject, in their view, of political expediency. They want a referendum, insisting that although Hollande won the presidential election, it was not because of his backing for gay marriage. There does seem to be some confusion among the public over the issue: in France marriage would automatically include the right to adopt and yet surveys show a rise in support for gay marriage since January and a fall in support for gay adoption.