Friday, January 28, 2011

Gay Science

Marine Le Pen, social liberal? Not so much, at least when it comes to gay marriage. The PACS is "super," says Marine Le Pen, especially since 95% of the time it is used by straight couples rather than gays. But she is "totally opposed" to gay marriage. In fact, she goes further: gay organizations don't speak for the majority of gays, she says, most of whom don't want gay marriage. (MLP speaking for gays: a definition of chutzpah.)

So, has the FN evolved? Well, approval of the PACS certainly doesn't connote hidebound traditionalism. Is it progress for the far right to support cohabitation, or concubinage, to use a French word that has a rather disagreeably archaic ring in English? Or is it just electoralism, since so many people nowadays avail themselves of civil unions? Or--third possibility--is it just that religion and right-wing politics don't intersect in France in the same way as in the United States? Marine Le Pen will say a lot of things, but the sentence "marriage is for one man and one woman" is not one that is likely to leave her lips. In the French context it has no constituency, except perhaps for Christine Boutin's. Gay-bashing, on the other hand, is alive and well, but in the UMP rather than the FN: after Christian Vanneste, we have Jacques Myard, député UMP:

"Pas du tout, j'ai dit ceci ; on me dit qu'il faut prendre en compte l'homosexualité parce qu'elle existe. J'ai dit qu'à ce moment-là, toutes les perversions sexuelles… Le zoophile existe, vous allez le prendre en compte ?"

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