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View Diary: Marriage Equality in France: a heroine struggles against a rising right wing (44 comments)

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    a lot of what I was thinking when I wrote this.

    The US is watched very closely, like a reality show, by a lot of French people.  I've been asked about the intentions of Republicans and whether Americans fear fascism.  I understand that they're looking over their own shoulders at the past and at pockets of intolerance they still have today.

    I abbreviated the story of the Marriage For All bill.   The UMP's arguments against it included:  
    droves of foreigners will show up here asking to be married;
    complications will arise with children conceived by non-traditional methods;
    unforeseen consequences based on random attributes assigned to gay people.

    It's easy to say I don't remember hearing anyone but the Front National talking like this in France, but then I think about Jacques Chirac who was Mayor of Paris in the 70s and 80s, and President before Sarkozy.  He moved the political spectrum to the right something like Reagan did in America and Thatcher did in Britain (which is an inexact comparison to give you a context.)  Chirac organized the UMP.  He wasn't FN but in a way, he made room for the FN by shifting the spectrum to the right.  

    This is the source of French nervousness about fascism.  Is there a danger from expanding the spectrum on the right so that it includes what was once beyond the margin?  Once the unacceptable is allowed into the spectrum it gradually become normalized.   Headlines about this topic have appeared in the last two weeks because of a poll conducted by Le Monde, the leading French newspaper.  In indicates that extremist ideas on the right have been mainstreamed.  Coincidentally, the Marriage For All bill was in the headlines too.

    Mix together intolerance on the right, and a historic extension of freedom pushed by the left in the chamber of the Assemblée nationale.  That's what happened when one of the representatives on the left reacted to bigoted remarks from someone on the right by invoking the memory of the pink triangle, and with it, the Nazis, and unbelievable atrocities they committed.  (There are still people in France who have childhood memories of those years.)  Then to have a response from the right confirming the concern about the triangle while sarcastically changing its color from pink to black is explosive.  It puts gay people in the category where they were decades ago, as a sub-group of the mentally ill.  The black triangle was worn by those rounded up under a broad category sometimes referred to as "anti-social" or "misfits."  In actuality, many who wore it were lesbians, and it was also worn together with the pink triangle which was reserved for gay males.  This was the right announcing without shame that it is even worse than people suspect.  

    Since I have foot in each country I share a perspective of the US as seen from outside.  I have deep suspicion about the right and I don't trust the Republicans.  It becomes increasingly clear that they're not a real political party at all.  They're a front for something and/or someone that prefers to stay hidden.  I can say that the Republicans front for a small group of the privileged few, for now.  I can also say that their actions are fundamentally anti-democratic.  

    For that reason, when I think of the way a Republican administration would address equal marriage, I can't help but picture people being taken away in railway cars to a place where, perhaps, they will be allowed to marry.  

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:08:49 AM PST

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