Some French words of wisdom on marriage equality

Paris on January, 13 was invaded by what has been called the “Manif pour tous”  (March for everybody) which means that all the people that oppose the new law that will open the possibility of marriage and adoption to homosexual couples got to get together from all France and have a party about their bigot views. I was reading about the event on the French version of the Huffington Post and the website seemed to be on fire with thoughtful blogs.

In one of them (Marriage for everybody, women will wake up with a “sacred” hangover), Christine Pedotti, wonders about how this topic is able to magically bring together all religious leaders. Talk about an ecumenical issue!  Her thesis is that if homosexuals are not considered the non-normal anymore then the various Churches and religions cannot differentiate anymore between men and women and thus they cannot have a privileged role for men and a second-tier-but-let’s-say-it’s-just-complementary-and-really-important role for women. Particularly she writes:

“Ce que défendent les hommes de religion dans cette affaire de mariage pour tous, ce n’est pas l’institution du mariage mais le patriarcat. S’ils défendent la différence des sexes, c’est pour mieux assigner les femmes à leur “ordre naturel”, celui de la procréation, de la modestie et du silence. Et le pire, c’est que c’est au nom de la défense des enfants, que ces hommes de religion mobilisent les femmes dans un combat qui in fine est un combat contre elle-mêmes. La manœuvre est, d’un point de vue stratégique, admirable.” 

Which, after the use of my merely passable skills of translation, becomes:

“What these men of religion are defending in this issue of marriage for everyone is not the institution of marriage but the patriarchy. If they defend the difference between genders, it’s to best assign women to their “natural order”, that of procreation, modesty and silence. And the worst is that it is  in the name of the defense of children that these men of religion mobilize women in a fight that, at the end, is a fight against themselves. The maneuver is, from a strategic point of view, admirable. “

Food for thought. That most Churches are misogynistic is not news but this interpretation seems particularly fascinating.

I’ll also add another sentence that I found in a blog by Elisabeth Ronzier: To Marchers of  January,13: Do you know why will you be at the “March for everybody” ?

This blog is about the fact that the organizers have insisted that the rally is not in any way homophobe. The blogger writes:

“Lorsque l’on s’oppose à l’égalité des droits entre les noirs et les blancs, cela s’appelle du racisme. Lorsque l’on s’oppose à l’égalité des droits entre les femmes et les hommes, cela s’appelle du sexisme. Lorsqu’on s’oppose à l’égalité des droits entre les couples homosexuels et les couples hétérosexuels, cela s’appelle de l’homophobie  L’homophobie ce n’est pas seulement éprouver de la haine envers les personnes homosexuelles, c’est aussi de penser que l’hétérosexualité serait préférable à l’homosexualité, c’est à dire hiérarchiser les orientations sexuelles et hiérarchiser par conséquent les couples en fonction du sexe des conjoints et les familles en fonction du sexe des parents.”

“When one opposes equality of rights between blacks and whites, that is called racism. When one opposes equality of rights between women and men, that is called sexism. When one opposes equality of rights between homosexual and heterosexual couples, that is called homophobia. Homophobia is not only to feel hate towards homosexuals, it’s also to believe that heterosexuality would be preferable to homosexuality, which means put in a hierarchy sexual orientation and consequently put in a hierarchy couples based on the gender of the partners and the families based on the gender of the parents.”

Beautifully and simply put.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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