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Two weeks ago, a rally took place in Paris against marriage equality legislation the French government is due to take up this week. By all accounts it was a large event, coordinated by the religious right leaders from primarily Roman Catholic, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Police estimated the crowd to be approximately 340,000 people. Of course it wouldn't be a proper gathering of religious bigots without America's own creepy champion of bigotry, Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage joining in. He even made a YouTube video in which he ups the attendance estimate to over one million people.
Just a quick aside to Mr. Brown: You know Bri, when I travel to Paris I go to experience the art, the food, the culture. I have been several times and have never walked away from the City of Lights without having my mind broadened. Pity you squandered your trip to have your mind narrowed even further. What a waste.
Today, that rally was answered. It was a smaller crowd than the opposition, estimated to be around 125,000 (I say it was 500,000 - if Brian Brown can lie, then I will too). But there was a difference between the two rallies that is particularly notable. According to The New York Times the demographics of the two crowds was obvious.
In contrast to the opponents who demonstrated two weeks ago, many of the marchers on Sunday were relatively young and personally invested in the future of the law.That is important to note. What is happening in France isn't so very different than what has been happening here. Their younger generation like our own is leading the charge to a more inclusive, just society and doing so against the same aging and rigid ideologues. Both our countries finally have leaders who have joined the fight for equality and against factions who will soon find themselves on the wrong side of history. Of this, there is no doubt.
Heading into this important week, a poll released Saturday by the French Institute of Public Opinion, 63 percent are in favor of same-sex marriage, and 49 percent favor same-sex married adoption rights. While nothing is guaranteed, the prospects for marriage equality becoming French law looks very promising.
Again, from the New York Times article:
François Hollande, the Socialist president, promised during his campaign to legalize gay marriage within a year of taking office in May 2012. And with effective majorities in both houses of Parliament, Mr. Hollande and his government should be able to beat back various efforts by opponents to kill or amend the bill. It has been suggested that even given the long legislative process, the bill could become law as early as May.Brian and I are currently planning a trip to either Italy or France this spring. If this does indeed become law by May, perhaps we will have to make France the destination and kick in a little money to the newly burgeoning marriage industry there and renew our vows in French.
Now, let's get on to Tops!