Saturday, January 12, 2013

13 January: Enormous demonstration expected in Paris as an urgent appeal for the protection of the traditional family and the rights for children

A law proposal on “marriage for all” (mariage pour tous) is due to go before Parliament for debate by the end of this month. The legalization of gay marriage was a campaign promise by socialist President François Hollande.  

However this proposal seems not to have the approval of the majority of the French population. Only in the last three months, 100,000s of people from all across France have participated in several unprecedented manifestations to oppose this bill with determination, because this proposed law would mean a profound change of the nature of Marriage, Adoption and Filiation and has been promoted as "creating access to parenthood for same sex couples through the "mechanism" of adoption.

On the 13th of January the first national massive demonstration will take place in Paris, where (according to the French media) several hundred thousands people are expected to be gathered. 

(article written by Eunice Vatran, adapted by Leo van Doesburg, Based on the sources of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations: FAFCE)

In his first speech as France's President on 6 May 2012, François Hollande expressed his wish to be "judge on two major commitments: justice and youth". However, he is about to intorduce aprofound change of the very nature of marriage, adoption and filiation, all cornerstones of the society. The current legal proposal on marriage and adoption "for all" i.e. an extension of marriage to same sex couples, presented by the French Government currently creates a deep division in the French society. 

The legal proposal is considered by the French Government as a matter of equality. In addition the Minister of Legal Affairs Christiane Taubira has several times spoken of a "reform of civilisation". Article 143 of the Civil Code would be amended as follows: "Marriage is contracted by two persons of different or same sex"

The words 'husban' and 'wife' and 'father' and 'mother' would be replaced by the neutral 'spouse' and 'parent' in several places in the civil law if the proposal is adopted. 

The proposal would create a new type of parenthood which immediately leads to a call for the opening of Medically assisted procreation (assisted reproductive technology) to two women. However, as of today, this provision is likely to be included in another law on the family due to be presented in March. There are tensions within the left wing groups of the first chamber about this aspect. Some parliamentarians of the Ecologist Group (part of the Government) wish to include this provision of medical assisted procreation in the current proposal on marriage.  

Mr. Antoine Renard, President of the French Catholic Family Associations (CNAFC) and the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations stated that "Children are subjects of rights but their rights are excluded in the current proposal, a proposal that on the contrary reverses the hierarchy of rights: instead of taking into account the best interest of the child, this project introduces a 'right to a child'

In a press release, also the ECPM expresses its concern regarding the French government’s proposal and firmly stands with the thousands of demonstrators from all sides of the political and religious spectrums who have eloquently provided arguments against such a legislative alteration and requested an open public debate regarding the issue at stake. It mentioned also that "There can be serious effects for adopted children when these new forms of marriage are granted the right of adoption. These effects may violate article 7 of the Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child." and "The French people should get an honest answer on all consequences of the redefinition of marriage and the French government should take these into account. Therefore the ECPM supports the protest against the mentioned proposals and hopes that the French government will open a real dialogue on this issue before making these far-reaching decisions."

The institute of marriage and international human right laws
Considering that European and International private or human rights law do not impose any such modifications on national legislation, civil marriage is and remains an institution of the French Republic and is created to protect women and born and unborn children, and grant a legal status to the children born in wedlock, it is based on the sexual difference of the couples as shown in several articles of the civil law (Code civil) which is the very law that the proposal wishes to change. 

Same sex couples are hence not concerned by this institution; the proposal, including the right to adoption (a consequence of the reasoning behind the institution of marriage and its protective character) would create an artificial access to filiation. This is an upheaval of all the landmarks of the society, and the creation of a ‘right to a child’ which, in the name of equality, would feed the claims for all forms of scientific procreation (as opposed to natural procreation)

Massive Opposition to Proposal
In the last three months, about 300,000 people from all across France have participated in several unprecedented manifestations. A first demonstration took place in Paris on 17 November and was followed by demonstration in several main cities on 8 and 9 December. 

They demonstrated:
  • in favour of the maintenance of marriage between man and woman only 
  • maintaining the current law regarding adoption (two people of the same sex cannot adopt) 
  • in favour of restricting medically assisted procreation to couples (man and woman) only
It was strange that when between 100,000-200,000 people went on the street to demonstrate for traditional marriage, it was not shown that much in international media, but when a counter demonstration attracted approximately 60,000 people, it was shown on some international tv channels. 

1st national Demonstration on 13 January: hundred of thousands of people expected
The first national demonstration, "The Demonstration for all", will take place  in Paris on January 13. According to the French Media it is expected to gather several hundreds of thousands of people. The demonstration is organized by a collective of more than 30 civil society organizations and movements, ranging from homosexual associations to Jewish, Muslims and Christian organizations. 

The purpose of this demonstration is to encourage the President François Hollande to resume his courage and withdraw the legal proposal as this issue seriously divides the French people at a moment where it on the contrary needs to unite in order to face the economic and social crisis. 

This non-partisan and non-religious event will take place the day before the first committee work in the French National Assembly. 
    According to the organizers, the approval of this proposal would represent a sudden imbalance in the foundations of society, with serious consequences for the family and especially children, not only in France but in Europe as a whole. Moreover, because the proposal has also been linked to the right to adoption based on a non-existent ‘right to have a child’. 

    More information about the manifestation

     If you want to sign a petition

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