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Why Are French Citizens Protesting Same-Sex Marriage?

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

Several weeks ago some 800,000 French citizens took to the streets to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage. How can this be? Aren’t the French emblematic of secular, liberal, European values?

Why are so many of the French opposing same-sex marriage? According to Jim Daly, in his article which describes the protests, the French are arguing that same-sex marriage discriminates against children. Daly reports that the homosexual mayor of Paris has been repeating the popular mantra: “The rights of children trump the right to children.”

Daly adds:

France’s chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, and Louis-Georges Barret, Vice President of the Christian Democratic Party, have suggested that nobody has a right to children. If there was such a right, they argue, it would mean reclassifying children as objects, making them mere pawns.

Daly notes that Jean-Dominique Bunel, a French filmmaker, also opposes legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. Bunel, who was raised by two lesbians, deeply missed the presence of a father. Here are his comments:

I oppose this bill because in the name of a fight against inequalities and discrimination, we would refuse a child one of its most sacred rights, upon which a universal, millennia-old tradition rests, that of being raised by a father and a mother. You see, two rights collide: the right to a child for gays, and the right of a child to a mother and father. The international convention on the rights of the child stipulates in effect that “the highest interest of the child should be a primary consideration” (Article 3, section 1).

It is fascinating to realize that this very same argument has been repeatedly offered by conservative same-sex marriage opponents in the US. At last, liberals and conservatives can both rally around the common cause of children’s rights. Every child has the right to be raised by a father and a mother. Same-sex marriages guarantee that either a mother or a father will be absent in the home. Surely this is unjust.


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Comments

  • http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com/ DagoodS

    Bill Pratt: Every child has the right to be raised by a father and a mother.

    For this claim to impact same-sex marriage, the enumerated right would have to be the child’s right to a “married father and mother,” raising some interesting questions. Should all divorce become illegal? Should unwed mothers be forced to marry? Should artificial insemination be denied to non-wed females? Should single-adoption be illegal?

    And curiously, this doesn’t even address same-sex marriage. If two males married, and were denied the ability to adopt, the child’s rights would be protected. If two females married, and any progeny was taken by the state to be given to a married couple, the child’s rights would be protected. So we could still have gay marriage and it would have no effect whatsoever on this “right.”

    Not sure this was really thought out…

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    Yeah, I’m sure gay married couples would be just thrilled to gain the right to be married and then be told it is illegal to have children. I think it’s a package deal, don’t you?

    And you are missing the point about children having the right to a father and mother. The argument is that this is the ideal situation for the child, so the state should not be endorsing relationships that guarantee that a child will either not have a father or not have a mother. That is exactly what gay marriage proponents want – an endorsement by the state that their relationship is the equivalent of a heterosexual married couple.

    With regard to divorce and unwed mothers, it is recognized by most people that these are less-than-ideal situations for children. Virtually all the sociological research of the last 50 years demonstrates that. Having the state endorse gay couples raising children simply makes matters worse for children.

    I know of very few children who applaud the breakup of their parent’s marriage, or who are thrilled that their biological father has abandoned them. Likewise, I can’t imagine children sincerely desiring never to know their father or mother – preferring to be raised in a same-sex household. Do you really think that most children would prefer that?

  • http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com/ DagoodS

    No, Bill Pratt, the law* does not consider marriage and parenting as a “package deal.” The law prescribes certain rights, privileges and duties within marriage regardless of progeny. Likewise the law prescribes certain rights, privileges and duties as a parent regardless of one’s marital status as to the other parent.

    I have the exact same legal rights with my wife whether we have children or not. I equally have the same legal rights with my child (support, parenting time, legal and physical custody) whether I am married to their mother or not. Just ask all those fathers paying child support. Or those married couples without children.

    No, it most certainly is NOT a “package deal.”

    The word “right”—while bantered about in vernacular—has specific legal status. And it is this specific legal status that gay marriage advocates are requesting. “Marriage” is a right, protected by our Constitution, as determined by the Supreme Court. To claim a child has “rights” is not mere verbiage—it comes with a heavy legal significance.

    Setting aside (for the moment) whether the law’s prohibiting or providing for certain legal statuses is considered an “endorsement” of such status—there are plenty of situations where the law provides for situations less than ideal.

    Divorce guarantees a child will not be living with their mother and father…yet the law allows it. Single person adoption guarantees a child will not be living with their mother and father…yet the law allows it. Single person artificial insemination guarantees a child will not be living with their mother and father…yet the law allows it. Unwed mothers often result in a child not living with their mother and father…yet the law allows it.

    There are plenty of situations you and I might not find “ideal”—yet the law provides for these legal statuses. If providing for legal status that is not ideal is “endorsement” by the State—we are long past that point. We already “endorse” non-ideal situations.

    The attempt to argue against gay marriage by tying it in to child-bearing or rearing fails spectacularly when we review the current status of the law. Nowhere else do we demand (or claim it to be a “child’s right”) progeny to be raised by a mother and father. Indeed, quite the opposite–we have numerous laws designed specifically for children who are not being raised by a mother and father.

    Nowhere else do we require child-bearing or rearing as a requirement for marriage.

    My suggestion (feel free to ignore it, of course) is to remain in the Christian argument against gay marriage along the lines homosexual intercourse is a sin. There, at least, you have firm ground, in my opinion. But once a person attempts to invoke the government’s purpose, or the law, or rights, or “endorsement,” the legal situation is very poor grounds that will not sustain the argument.

    *by “law” I mean U.S. Law, I cannot speak for other countries such as France.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Ryan/511764596 Andrew Ryan

    “I’m sure gay married couples would be just thrilled to gain the right to be married and then be told it is illegal to have children”

    But it’s not illegal for UNmarried gay couples to have children. Or indeed unmarried straight couples. So I don’t see how your reply there affects DagoodS’ point.

  • http://toughquestionsanswered.com Bill Pratt

    There is a huge difference between the state allowing or tolerating something, and endorsing it. The state allows for divorce, but does not endorse divorce. The state, on the other hand, promotes and endorses heterosexual marriage. There are laws that promote good behavior and there are laws that provide guidelines and restrictions around what everyone considers to be bad behavior (e.g., divorce).

    Jesus invoked this very concept when he said that Moses allowed for divorce because of the hard hearts of the Israelites, but, Jesus said, divorce was not what God intended for mankind.

    So your points about the law allowing unmarried individuals to have children are irrelevant to whether we want to pass laws that endorse gay marriage. Your attempt to blur the distinctions between laws that are meant to promote a certain behavior and laws that are only to restrict bad behavior (e.g., divorce) does not work.

  • http://sandwichesforsale.blogspot.com/ DagoodS

    Bill Pratt: There is a huge difference between the state allowing or tolerating something, and endorsing it. The state allows for divorce, but does not endorse divorce.

    Presuming the state is speaking through its laws, why would you differentiate between a law “allowing” something and a law “endorsing” something? You claim the State “allows” divorce but “endorses” marriage—isn’t this just an arbitrary semantic claim on your part? What possible difference does it make when looking to a State’s purpose whether it is “allowing” something or “endorsing” something—either way it is addressing an area it perceives needs addressing?

    Let’s take some legal examples and in applying your method (whatever that may be) determine whether the law is “allowing” something or “endorsing” something:

    1) Require a Driver’s license to drive;
    2) Require real estate transfer to be in writing;
    3) Provide minimum wage;
    4) Establish residency requirements;
    5) Provide custody determination for children;
    6) Establish requirements for restraining orders;
    7) Establish speed limits;
    8) Determine statute of limitations on civil claims;
    9) Provide procedures for determining disability;
    10) Allowing medical use of Marijuana;
    11) Adopt the Uniform Commercial Code; and
    12) Concealed weapons laws.

    Which is “allowing” and which is “endorsing”?

    Now on occasion we look to what the purpose is behind a law, and in doing so we look to:

    1) What the law itself states;
    2) What area the law addresses; and
    3) Are there other laws that would address the claimed purpose?

    For example, if I claimed the purpose behind the Driver’s License law was that everyone carries identification, I would be laughed out of court. Why? Because we have alternative law addressing identification (i.e. identification cards), the requirements of a Driver’s license include meeting certain tests for ability to drive, and if it is demonstrated one does not have the ability to drive (either physically or through too many tickets), one loses their Driver’s License. Clearly a Driver’s License is tied directly to the State wanting only qualified persons operating 1 ton equipment at 70 mph.

    A Driver’s license is a privilege, not a right. The State providing certain requirements to obtain and retain such—is that “endorsing” driving or “allowing” driving?

    In looking at Marriage laws, the law itself address marriage without addressing progeny in any way. Further we have other laws that DO address progeny, specifically family laws surrounding custody, visitation, and support. In looking at the purpose of the law, regardless whether we consider the law “allowing” marriage or “endorsing” marriage–it says absolutely positively nothing about children! (And I should note Michigan did change the introduction to its marriage statue to make the claim it has to do with the promotion of family, but this was only done AFTER our Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and no other provisions of the marriage statue were changed in any way to reflect this new-found claim regarding promoting family.)

    I have no clue how one would ever go about claiming one law is “endorsing” and another is “allowing” other than a perceived notion in one’s own mind, completely inapplicable to how we actually work within the law.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Ryan/511764596 Andrew Ryan

    “So your points about the law allowing unmarried individuals to have children are irrelevant to whether we want to pass laws that endorse gay marriage.”

    But it’s completely relevant to debunking your assertion that it’s a ‘package deal’. You can only say it’s a package deal by conjecturing about what the reaction would be if gay marriage included a prohibition on having kids. I’m sure straight couple would ‘be thrilled’ if they were told that they could get married but not drive a car, but that says nothing about whether ‘driving a car’ and ‘getting married’ are ‘a package deal’.

    DagoodS’ point stands.

  • E Tate Carter

    very similar to the cloning debate

  • E Tate Carter

    I think you address the real prob: not same-sex marriage but same-sex divorce and it’s effect on children

  • sean

    The real problem here is the conflation of separate issues. The right to marry and the right to adopt are not the same right. Gays already have the right to adopt children, as do single parents. By the logic here, these people should be even more outraged by single-parent homes. I assume they are not though. Why then the discrepancy?

  • http://blogforthelordjesus.wordpress.com Mike Gantt

    How in the world can the French be getting this issue so right while Americans are getting it so wrong? Why isn’t the U.S. press reporting this?

    As children are the victims in abortion, so they are victims in the same-sex marriage wars.

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