No allowances for conscience in French ‘gay marriage’ bill: French Justice Minister
PARIS, September 12, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – There will be no allowances made for conscientious or religious objection in upcoming French legislation instituting “gay marriage,” the French minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, revealed in an interview today.
Speaking to the mainstream Catholic daily La Croix, Taubira gave the broad outlines of the same-sex “marriage” bill to be presented by the government by the end of October. That Taubira chose the quasi-official newspaper of the French Catholic bishops conference is being seen as a strategic move to head off Catholic and other religious objections.
She acknowledged in the interview that the change would constitute a “societal and legal revolution.”
The socialist Hollande government, elected in May, is wasting no time fulfilling its promise to bring the legislation forward. Most observers expected that the bill would not be introduced before the beginning of 2013, allowing the defenders of traditional marriage some time to organize their response after the politically sluggish summer months.
Taubira said that the bill will legalize same-sex “marriage” and adoption by homosexual “spouses,” giving them most of the same legal rights and obligations attached to marriage. It does not include, however, access to artificial procreation, including artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Neither does it legalize surrogate motherhood.
Also, the legal “presumption of fatherhood” in which the law designates the husband in a marriage as the legal father of any child born to the couple, would not be applied to homosexual partners. In a same-sex “marriage,” one partner would have to adopt the biological child of the other to obtain parental rights.
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Some believe that the restrictions are intended to lessen opposition to the bill among traditionalists in parliament and the concessions may indicate that support for the scheme is less enthusiastic than expected, even among socialist members. It is thought likely that any restrictions included in the bill will be overturned later by the European Court of Human Rights.
In a decision involving a French lesbian wanting to adopt the child of her partner in a civil union, Gas v. France, the ECHR affirmed in March of this year that France had the right to deny the adoption in the interest of the child as long as homosexual couples had the same rights as heterosexual couples in the same legal situation. Once complete marriage equivalence is established, this situation would no longer apply. In addition, where heterosexual couples have access to artificial procreation and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, it will be argued that homosexuals cannot be excluded.
Christiane Taubira told La Croix that “discussions” have started with proponents and opponents of the bill. Included in these, she said, are several representatives of the association of 36,000 French mayors who officiate at civil marriage ceremonies. But these discussions will not change the government’s stance, Taubira said.
“We are in a state of law; the civil code will be modified, it will be imperative for everyone, including mayors.”
Resistance to the bill will also be hampered by the country’s hate crime laws which have been broadened to include “discrimination” on the grounds of sex and “sexual orientation” and “sexual identity.”
The goal of instituting “same-sex marriage” is rooted in the Left’s ideological notion of “absolute equality” in all matters, a cornerstone of socialist political theory. For this reason, it is believed that the current French government will in reality tolerate no opposition to the bill.
Taubira emphasized this, saying, “We are very conscious of all the philosophical and anthropological dimensions attached to marriage. But we consider that they cannot and should not collide with the requirements of equality.”
“It is this requirement, the requirement of equality, which we are meeting with this bill.”
During a press conference in Paris this morning, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, said he will be meeting with Taubira next week. He hopes that these contacts will induce “changes in the general direction of the bill’s contents.”
Vingt-Trois said it would be important not to allow “a legal debate on the organization of social life to become a debate on homosexuality.”
“This should not be allowed to be distorted into an ideological debate opposing homophilia against homophobia,” he added.
He hopes several traps will be avoided, including “political instrumentalization of a debate which is not political in the first place.”
He warned against the “temptation” of “presenting ourselves as if we were defending an essentially Catholic conception of marriage and family,” a sort of “denominational idiosyncrasy,” when the question is one of the “structure of society” and of “a future which is determined through the education of children.”
“Are we capable of making people aware that equality is not sameness and that the respect of the supposed rights of some does not erase the real rights others?” he concluded.