england

France to Legalize Gay Marriage; Church of England "Shocked"

International news for January 2013.

The following information about France, gay marriage, and the Church of England came from reports I read at Baltimore Gay Life.

In France, this has been happening:

A proposed bill from France’s socialist government due to pass in mid-2013 would legalize gay marriage and adoption, but not assisted procreation. Deutsche Welle reports that supporters of the bill waved rainbow flags and held up signs saying “liberty, equality, dignity” and “hate is not a family value.”

I get more than a few e-mails from French readers over the course of any given month and I’ve always been curious about what’s happening over there with regard to same sex marriage. While this article isn’t as detailed, you can read more here if you are so inclined. Of course there was also a protest against this at the Eiffel Tower, too. It’s an interesting article, and of course religion comes into play once again.

The opposition to President Francois Hollande’s plan has underscored divisions among the secular-but-Catholic French, especially more traditional rural areas versus urban enclaves. But while polls show the majority of French still support legalizing gay marriage, that backing gets more lukewarm when children come into play.

I found this statement interesting.

“This law is going to lead to a change of civilization that we don’t want,” said Philippe Javaloyes, a literature teacher who bused in with 300 people from Franche Comte in the far east. “We have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father.”

I honestly don’t know what it’s like in France. But I can tell you that here in the US civilization has already changed, like it or not, and it has nothing to do with gay people adopting kids or gay marriage. Most of the straight friends I have are married and divorced more than once by the time they are in their forties, most have shared custody, and their kids have more mothers and fathers and grandparents than I can even count. They make it work and everyone seems content. So the concept of mom and dad raising two kids isn’t as realistic anymore as it used to be, at least not here. And as far as I can tell gay people had nothing to do with that. I also find it interesting that a literature teacher made this comment.

Now this is what’s been happening in England:

Religious protections in the United Kingdom’s marriage equality bill have been met with harsh criticism from LGBT rights organizations and Church leaders alike.

A “quadruple lock” crafted by Culture Secretary Maria Miller creates “watertight” protections for religious organizations that don’t want to conduct same-sex marriages, but will allow them to “opt in” if they chose to do so. However, Miller has also banned the Church of England and Church in Wales from performing same-sex marriages.

Dr. Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales told the Scotsman that the ban was “total shock,” stating that the church should be allowed to “opt-in” or “opt-out” of the law, much like other religious institutions.

I don’t think I mind the opt-in/opt-out clause, or whatever it’s called, but I’m not thrilled about the entire ban with respect to the Church of England and Wales. Although I have no say, and I’m not connected to any of this in a literal sense because I’m not a citizen there, I get even more e-mails from readers in the UK and I know they are voracious about reading LGBT books. One of my favorite blog followers and someone who comments sporadically here is from England and we’ve e-mailed back and forth a few times on a friendly basis. My favorite copy editor at LYD lives in the UK, too. But most of all I know a lot of LGBT people there who can’t be happy about this.

In any event, at least we’re all in the same boat, so to speak. Please check out the link to Baltimore Gay Life above to read more international news. I’m going to be linking to this web site on my side bar from now on.

Photo courtesy of local friend/photographer, Ryan Morro.