April 22, 2013 ( – Not a day has passed since the French Senate adopted the law legalizing same-sex “marriage,” on Friday, April 12th, without vigorous protests in many towns in France. At least 150,000 demonstrators took to the streets once again in Paris on Sunday (40,000, say official police figures, 270,000 according to the “Manif pour tous”, the “Demonstration for all” which is opposing “marriage for all”). This was the fourth major rally in Paris since November 18th, when 300,000 people joined, and those organized on January 13th and March 24th which attracted approximately a million and a million and a half demonstrators, respectively.

Last Sunday’s event was a “minor” affair, aimed only at Paris and its region, organized at a few days’ notice in preparation of Tuesday’s formal and public vote at the National Assembly which is expected to adopt the legislation in the same terms as the Senate, completing the accelerated legislative procedure devised by François Hollande’s socialist government in face of popular opposition.

Even so, the demonstration filled the large Esplanade in front of the Invalides and saw thousands of young people and families with children waving flags and chanting slogans against Hollande’s goal to allow same-sex couples to “marry”, adopt and, eventually, obtain the right to use artificial procreation techniques to obtain children. This last point is not part of the law, but European case-law poses the principle of equal rights for equal situations: as married couples are allowed to use in vitro fertilization in a number of circumstances, same-sex couples will necessarily obtain this right sooner or later. 

American surrogacy company advertizes its ware in advance of 'marriage' vote

Surrogate motherhood is illegal in France, but this inconveniency has already been largely circumvented by an official ruling issued earlier this year by the Justice minister, Christiane Taubira: children of French nationals obtained through surrogacy abroad are to be given French civil status and allowed into the country. 

Already, a Connecticut surrogacy and egg-donor business, CT Fertility, has anticipated future French demand, organizing a public presentation of its activities in Paris last week. Pressure from anti-gay “marriage” protesters, who called for a public demonstration in front of the luxury hotel where the meeting was to take place, compelled CT Fertility to change the location and reserve its meeting strictly for individual appointments.

Writer and reporter Gabrielle Cluzel managed to obtain an on-the-spot meeting with Dr Doyle, the concern’s medical advisor, under the pretense of getting information about surrogacy for a friend – she herself is a mother of seven. Cluzel was told her friend would have to pay $100,000 for the process. Details were discussed: would she use an egg given by a donor? What would happen if the baby had a harelip or Downs syndrome? Would a new surrogate mother be chosen in case of stillbirth?

A legal counselor answered Cluzel’s concerns about the legality of the procedure, telling her that Christiane Taubira’s recent ruling had lifted any existing obstacles. Conception can be illegal, she said, without affecting filiation rights: as when a child is conceived by rape, she explained, if the father is French, then the child is French by birth. 

CT Fertility’s Parisian meeting was publicly announced and took place in one of the more modern and expensive hotels in the Parisian “Quartier latin”, Cluzel notes – even though the fact of aiding and abetting a person to obtain a baby through surrogate motherhood is legally a crime. No one seemed to be worrying about that.

Youthful protesters tear-gassed, arrested


Each day last week demonstrations against gay “marriage” took place in Paris near the National Assembly in the evening after working hours, swelling gradually from 2,500 to over 8,000 participants as the days went by. 

After the official end of these walks at 9:30 p.m., many young people decided to stay on the Esplanade des Invalides near the French Assembly. One group, the “Veilleurs” (the “Watchers” or “Wakers”), several hundred young people, have taken to sitting down every evening with candles in glass holders, singing and listening to poems, surrounded by heavily-dressed riot police. On several occasions, they were forcibly removed and pushed into the underground station where they were met by other lines of riot police who used teargas in that confined area.

Dozens of these youngsters, boys and girls, were taken to a police station in the north of Paris and either let out into the streets in that ill-famed quarter at 3 a.m., when public transportation is closed, or kept up to 17 hours in tiny, dirty cells with little water and no food till lunch. They passed the time cheerfully singing and playing games; many astonished the police by singing grace before their lunch.

Many other French towns are now organizing their own “Veilleurs” and city centers are filled with police cars and vans to contain the peaceful crowds. Streets giving access to the presidential palace, the Elysée, and to the Prime minister’s office on the Left bank are heavily barricaded. 

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But on Sunday morning, a group of youngsters played “hide-and-seek for all” on the rue de Rivoli, the avenue de l’Opéra, blocked those thoroughfares for a few minutes, shouting slogans and waving flags, and then moving to another point: the police never caught up.

This evening, several hundred young people managed to organize “cocktails for all” with bagpipes and drinks in public gardens very near the Elysée, closely watched by a hundred security officers. 

In Versailles, last week, another major demonstration gave rise to several incidents that some claim have been caused by plain-clothes police: photos have been posted on internet showing young men wearing covers on their faces and shouting insults at the police, trying to heat up the crowd: they have also apparently been seen, and photographed, when putting on their official armbands and melting away among the riot police. 

In fact the atmosphere is growing tense: while incidents are very rare and most of them appear to be provoked by the police, many French people have come to see that media coverage and political maneuvering are converging to push through a wildly unpopular measure. 

The mainstream press is putting stress on confrontation with the police and spreading the idea that opposition to same-sex “marriage” is causing growing homophobia; it is also down-playing the peaceful demonstrations that are still taking place all over France. The liberal paper Libération had a picture of yesterday’s Paris demonstration on its cover today, with the words: “L’homophobie ordinaire” – “Ordinary homophobia”. 

Unfortunately, the “Manif pour tous’” figurehead, wacky Frigide Barjot, is in a way justifying this state of affairs, pleading on public radio stations for an end to “homophobia”: “We love homosexuals”, she said, “gays, we love you”, and, “Homosexuals, you too can adopt, you too can educate, but you cannot procreate.” 

But when she shouted those same slogans at the demonstration on Sunday from a mobile platform in the middle of the crowd, asking respect for “homosexual love”, she was not met with an enthusiastic response. In fact, the French aren’t taking much notice.

Many of the people in the streets have never joined a demonstration in their lives. But they are explaining that they have realized that this is a fight for civilization. Tomorrow will be the crucial date. But up to 15,000 French mayors – out of 30,000, most from rural areas – have already said they will not celebrate same-sex unions. 

Why is Hollande pushing for gay 'marriage' despite the poopular opposition

The situation seems absurd – up to a point. One of same-sex “marriages” main proponents is Pierre Bergé, a rich businessman, former companion to Yves Saint-Laurent, the celebrated haute couture designer who died a few years ago. Pierre Bergé is close friends with Jean-Jacques Augier, another self-proclaimed homosexual and treasurer of Hollande’s presidential campaign. Augier has recently been found to own offshore concerns in the British Cayman Islands, And Bergé sold him the French glossy gay magazine Têtu for one symbolic euro at the beginning of the year.

Bergé himself is on record for having retweeted a message saying that if a bomb exploded on the Champs-Elysées when the “Manif pour tous” was to take place there in March, “I wouldn’t be the one to cry”. He also justified surrogate motherhood in these terms: “Renting out your stomach to produce a child or renting out your arms to work at a factory, what’s the difference?

Speculation is now rising about Hollande’s situation as regards Bergé and Augier: a question which involves money, socialist party funding, possible tax evasion as in the case of Jérôme Cahuzac, the ousted Budget minister who was obliged to quit after owning to having a secret Swiss account, and the power of the homosexual lobby in France.