Posts Tagged ‘Gay Rights’
May 68 in Reverse?
French religious and right-wing agitation against legislation for gay marriage (‘le marriage pour tous’) is reaching a new pitch as the law is due to be voted in.
Last night France’s Parliament, l’Assemblée Nationale, nearly descended into violence.
The debate lasted all night, only finishing just before 8 o’clock this morning.
In a scene described on France-Inter today as worthy of the Russian Duma, right-wing deputies approached the government seats screaming and ready for a fight.
Libération reports this morning,
Scène surréaliste : l’hémicycle avait échappé de peu à une bagarre. Dans la confusion et sous le regard interloqué des journalistes en tribune de presse, des députés UMP, excédés par une mimique d’un collaborateur du ministre de la Justice - ils l’ont expliqué ensuite - se sont précipités au bas de l’hémicycle. Aux cris de «dehors, dehors», ils se sont approchés des bancs du gouvernement. Des huissiers et le ministre chargé des Relations avec le Parlement Alain Vidalies se sont interposés pendant plusieurs minutes.
A surrealist scene: the chamber nearly descended into fist fights. In a confused state, and journalists looking askance from the press box, UMP MPs, enraged by being made fun of by an associate of the Justice Minister, (that is, their version) – rushed to the lower half of the room. Shouting “Out, Out, Out!”, they approached the Government benches. Ushers and Alain Vidalies, the Minister in Charge of Parliamentary procedures, stood in their way for some minutes.
According to the Libération report blows were exchanged.
Outside around 3,000 demonstrators, many from the extreme-right “Printemps français” vociferously voiced their opposition to gay rights.
This movement believes the time has come for a “May 68 in reverse” (see La jeunesse prête pour un Mai 68 à l’envers !).
French President Francois Hollande hit out at “homophobic” acts by opponents of a same-sex marriage bill following violent protests that included an attack on a gay bar.
The interior minister asked protest organisers to throw out members of far-right organisations who have been involved in the violence, as opposition intensifies ahead of the bill’s expected final approval.
On Wednesday, a several-thousand-strong protest in the streets of Paris turned ugly with cars and public property vandalised and police officers and journalists attacked. Several people were detained for questioning.
In Lille, three employees of a gay bar were injured late Wednesday in an attack by four men who smashed the building’s windows. The owner linked the incident to “tensions” over the parliament vote.
Caroline Fourest: Attacked by Far-Right and ‘Anti-Imperialists’.
There were many virulent anti-gay marriage demonstrations in France over the weekend.
On Saturday at Nantes, Caroline Fourest, was at a meeting to debate Islam and secularism. (Caroline Fourest était venue débattre d’islam et de laïcité).
The journalist, who is herself gay, was violently taken aside by those against the law enabling “marriage for all”. (Report here)
As she arrived at Nantes by train over 100 screaming demonstrations from the extreme-right were waiting for Caroline.
That was only the beginning.
They followed her to the meeting venue.
They disputed the meeting, shouting, and throwing stink bombs and tear gas.
Returning to Paris at Montparnasse the anti-gay marriage far right were waiting for her at the station.
It appears that these thugs were part of the ‘Printemps français’ alliance of Christian extremists and the neo-fascist right and racists.
Caroline was attacked in September last year at the annual Fête d’Huma by the Indigènes de la République and the Indivisibles. They prevented her from talking about her latest book against the Front National
They claim she is ‘Islamophobic’ and had no right to speak.
Caroline then, has been shouted down by Islamists, so-called ‘anti-imperialists’ and now, the extreme right has taken upon itself the task of stalking her.
Is it a coincidence that she is a gay women feminist?
Perhaps the Printemps français and the Indigènes de la République could get together and organise a united attack against Caroline Fourest.
Her report: Les homophobes sont allés trop loin à Nantes
French Religious Right Threatens Violence Against Gay Marriage Law.
This morning on French radio station RTL a right-wing spokesperson, and former Sarkozy Housing Minister, threatened a “civil war” if the laws on gay marriage (le Mariage pour tous) and adoption open to all, reach the statue book.
Christine Boutin, la présidente du Parti Chrétien-Démocrate n’a pas mâché ses mots.
Invoquant “les colères multiples et grandissantes du peuple de France”, elle a évoqué sur Twitter une “guerre civile”.
Christine Boutin, le President of the Christian Democrat Party did not mince her words
She evoked the “swelling rage and anger of the French people”. On Twitter she spoke of a “civil war”.
The right have referred to the mass anti-secular campaign in 1984 against plans to bring religious education establishment into line with the public system (Loi Savary).
Nous mènerons jusqu’au bout ce combat pour la famille et l’avenir de notre pays. C’est la démocratie que nous défendons ! Tous à Paris le 26 mai ! »
We will continue our fight for the Family and the future of our country, right to end. It’s democracy that we defend! Everybody Come to Paris on the 26th of May!(from here)
Elswhere it’s reported that another leader of the anti-gay movement, Brigide Barjot, said, «c’est un déni de démocratie. C’est violent, et une loi violente, qui va passer violemment, va provoquer de la violence».
This is a denial of democracy. It;s violence, it;s a violent law, it will come in violently, and will provoke violence. (Here)
These are ‘mainstream’ opinions.
But much more extreme groups are moblising.
Libérati0n reports today on the far-right groups involved in the anti-gay movement.
Taking the name “Printemps français” this involves a variety of extreme groups, including ultra-traditional Catholics of Civitas, the Bloc identitaire, the fascist student militia, Groupe union défense (GUD) and their ‘student union’ the Union nationale interuniversitaire (UNI)
Pour l’égalité maintenant, contre les discriminations tout le temps !
Today the French Inter-LGBT is holding a march in Paris to defend legislation introducing gay marriage and the right to adopt for all. Backed by French Socialist Prime Minister, Jean Marc Ayrault, gay rights associations, left parties, and trade unions, over 100,00 people are expected to march today for ”le marriage pour tous”.
Opinion polls indicate that 63% of French people are favourable towards the government’s new laws will permit same-sex marriage and the right to adopt for all.
Yesterday regional marches several thousand strong took place.
Between 60.000 et 150.000 demonstrators are expected to attend this Sunday.
From the political world, from the Greens Cécile Duflot, will be there, as well as the boss of Parti Socialiste Harlem Désir, the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë . Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the Front de gauche and the Communist, Pierre Laurent, will also be there. (From here)
Earlier this month on the 13th of January opponents of gay marriage drew from 350,000 (Police total) to 800,00 (Organisers’ figure) people in their ‘manif pour tous’ opposing the new legislation.
Libération reports that yesterday 100,000 people, across France, demonstrated against proposed legislation which will authorise gay marriage. The Bill, defended by the Women’s Rights Minsiter, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, will also authorise adoption by gay couples.
Civil partnerships are already recognised.
This was backed not only by ‘pro-family’ Catholic pressure groups, but official figures. In Lyon the ‘cardinal-archevêque’ Philippe Barbarin, took part in the march, as well as the Rector of the Lyon Grand Mosque, Kamel Kabtane.
Representatives of all the 6 major religions are opposed to the Bill, as this report indicates.
Non au mariage gay : pour une fois, les six principales religions de France – catholique, musulmane, juive, orthodoxe, bouddhiste et protestante – s’entendent sur un sujet !
No to gay marriage: for once the six main religions in france – Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Orthodox, Buddhist and Protestant – agree on something (More here on how they have organised the anti-gay marriage movement)
The movement has attracted even wider forces,
Des associations ou collectifs comme «Plus gay sans mariage» (homosexuels opposés au projet de loi), «La gauche pour le mariage républicain», les «Fils de France» (musulmans «patriotes»), ou l’association pro-vie Alliance Vita soutenaient ce mouvement.
Associations or collectives such “gayer without marriage” (homosexuals opposed to the proposed legislation), “the Left for republican marriage”, the “Sons of France (Muslim ‘patriots), and the anti-abortion Alliance Vita have backed the movement.
Today there will be another march, led by ‘intégrist’ (hard-line) Catholics,
L’institut Civitas, proche des catholiques intégristes, appelle à manifester dimanche après-midi à Paris contre le projet de loi ouvrant le mariage et l’adoption aux homosexuels.
The Civitas Institute, close to the Catholic ‘ intégristes’, has called to demonstrate this afternoon in Paris against the Bill, which will authorise gay marriage and adoption.
The organisers of the Saturday demonstration said it was a “Manif pour tous“, a demo for everybody.
Opinion polls indicate that 58% of French people are in favour of gay marriage, with 41% against.
However, last year 63% were in favour and 30% against.
On Saturday there were some counter-demonstrations and incidents as they was pushed back by the police.
The group, Inter-LGBT, has issued a statement deploring «les expressions homophobes qui fleurissent ces derniers jours» (homophobic expressions that have flourished in the last few days), and reminded the government that «les propos homophobes sont réprimés par la loi» (homophobic remarks are punishable by law).