LGBT activists force France venue to cancel public debate on artificial procreation for lesbians
VERSAILLES, France, February 4, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A public debate featuring opponents to the legalization of access to artificial procreation for single women and lesbian couples was canceled in Versailles, France, this Tuesday because of threats of disruption by “LGBT groups.”
The incident is one of a rapidly growing list of censured meetings in an atmosphere of increasing hostility towards those who resist “single thought”, which accuses dissident voices of “hate speech” of various kinds.
The planned round table was to take place in the historic cinema of the center of Versailles, 20 km from Paris. The “Cyrano” opened in 1928 and over the years welcomed many live performances ranging from French singers Charles Aznavour and Georges Brassens to the Beatles and Trini Lopez in the 1960s. It was restructured into smaller movie halls but still welcomes live debates and conferences.
The family-owned venue was bought in 2017 by UGC (Union générale cinématographique, one of the main cinema chains in France). It was successfully pressured to cancel the round table against planned changes to France’s bioethics law.
The debate had been organized by a cultural association created in Versailles by young professionals in the wake of the “Manif pour tous” against same-sex “marriage” in 2013, under the name “Les Eveilleurs d’Espérance:” “The Awakeners of Hope.” Over the years the “Eveilleurs” have invited political, media and academic personalities in an aim to champion personal commitment, respect for life, the defense of traditional marriage and family, as well as filial attachment to the fatherland and the rebuilding of culture through the moral and spiritual roots of France’s history.
Four speakers were to take part in Tuesday’s event. Ludovine de La Rochère, president of the “Manif pour tous,” is active in the opposition movement to the liberalization of medically assisted procreation, “Marchons enfants.”
Agnès Thill, a former member of Emmanuel Macron’s presidential party, was excluded from “LREM” (La République en Marche) last July for having voiced her opposition to “medically assisted procreation”, or “PMA” as it is called in France, “without a father.”
The third speaker, Thérèse Hargot, is a sexologist and a more controversial figure. While opposed to artificial contraception and procreation, she recently co-authored a book with Bishop Emmanuel Gobilliard, auxiliary bishop of Lyon in which she speaks sympathetically of masturbation – including for women religious.
Lastly, Jean-Marie Le Méné, president of the pro-life Fondation Jérôme-Lejeune which funds research on Downs syndrome and assists families confronted with this genetic disorder, was to speak about the eugenic aspects of France’s future revised bioethics law which aims to make the possibility of embryo research the norm, and not the exception.
None of these speakers has the reputation of being “extremist” or radical, and the issues that were to be raised are precisely those under discussion in the French Parliament.
But the title of the round table was enough to anger “LGBT groups:” “PMA, GPA (artificial procreation, surrogacy), hunted down embryos: the victims of the bioethics law.”
The Eveilleurs called the decision to evince their meeting “brutal” and were disappointed that the managing team of the Cyrano cinema was not prepared to take into account the “reliability” of their “security team.” Instead, the Cyrano told the organizers it feared “public disturbances because of planned action in the part of LGBT groups.”
In other words, the cinema’s management caved to threats from those who intended to disturb the public order rather than take steps to guarantee the peaceful functioning of a legitimate public contribution to a national debate.
“Behind the particularly surprising motivation for such a choice, we do not exclude the existence of an ideological desire to silence those who want to enlighten consciences about the very serious abuses contained in the draft bioethics law,” wrote the Eveilleurs in a public statement.
It is the second time in less than eight days that the Cyrano cinema has canceled a conference within its walls: last week a round table on the realities and dangers of Islam organized by “Liberté politique” was annulled under pressure of the UGC group.
Three weeks earlier, in Rennes, Brittany in the West of France, a conference on the “Meaning of life” by Alliance Vita, which is also active in the fight against the new bioethics law, was disrupted by LGBT and feminist movements that later claimed responsibility for the attack.
On January 13, the conference was being prepared by eight members of Alliance Vita in the auditorium of the “Maison des Associations” (the House of Associations) in Rennes when a hundred or so activists, some of them hooded, invaded the area, preventing guests from entering the conference room.
“There wasn’t much we could do. People were hit and two of us also got tear-gassed. All the documents we had prepared for the training session were thrown away or destroyed. In the end, we were forced to cancel the evening,” said one of the members of Alliance Vita.
He told French center-right weekly Valeurs actuelles that a police patrol was summoned. It stayed until the violent LGBT demonstrators had left but there were no arrests, despite the fact that three members of Alliance Vita filed personal complaints, one of whom was given three days of “temporary incapacity for work.”
The LGBT and feminist groups have since pressured the socialist municipality of Rennes not to allow Alliance Vita to organize other conferences in the town, accusing the group of “right-wing extremism” and “homophobic, sexist and transphobic speech,” as well as being responsible because of its “ideas” for the “humiliations, denial of rights, discriminations and physical and verbal aggressions” they say happen “every day.”
To date, there has been no police action regarding these violent activists, in contrast with what happened in La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendée, last June, when Catholic students toppled over public signs and took and later burnt an LGBT flag on display in the middle of the town’s main square. Those young people were sanctioned by the Catholic university ICES, where most of them were studying – including the dismissal of one student –, and were later declared guilty of several offenses by a local tribunal. Their appeal is pending.
In another incident, the wife of former socialist Prime minister Lionel Jospin, philosopher Sylviane Agacinski, was prevented from giving a conference at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne last October about “the human being in an age where it can be technically reproduced.” Surprisingly, this progressive and feminist thinker is opposed to the liberalization of assisted procreation and frontally condemns surrogate motherhood.
Three weeks before the planned date, on October 24, a number of local feminist and LGBT groups complained to the University staff in violent terms and it was decided to scrap the conference for fear of not being able to “ensure the security of persons and goods.”