City 1. LONDON, Feb 5.
The Lower House of Parliament, the Commons, passed the first stage of the new law to enable gay marriage in the UK. As expected, close to half of the conservative Tory Party membership either abstained or opposed the Bill, but the overall majority across all parties was huge. 400 voted in favour, 175 against, of whom 140 were thought to be Tories.
P.M. David Cameron, espousing the view that equal marriage rights "would make our society stronger" has championed the Bill as evidence of the modernisation of his once reactionary political party. Evidently, it's still a work in progress. But good for him and the strong cross-party endorsement that has occured.
Cameron expressed the view that equal marriage rights "would make our society stronger." Gays have mainly welcomed the legistlation, as indeed do the majority of the UK population. Just as the repeal of the criminal offence of gay sex in 1969 was controversial at the time, but now seen as completely correct, so the same evolution in attitudes will surely embrace gay marriage in the years to come. See further below for somewhere for which this might not be true. That particular bastian of extremism and intolerance is none other than the Vatican.
City 2. PARIS, Feb 2.
The French Parliament on Saturday adopted the main clause of a reform bill to allow same-sex marriage and grant gay couples the right to adopt children. Deputies voted 249-97 to support the clause terminating opposite gender as a requirement for the right to marriage. The draft law, the first major social reform of Francois Hollande's presidency, had sparked major protests in France. Several hundred thousand people massed at the Eiffel Tower in Paris last month to protest against the plan.
More than 5,000 amendments have been presented for the reform bill, which deputies began debating on Tuesday. The debate is expected to last two weeks.
Crucially, the proportion of those supporting the change in the law rose to 63 percent in late January from 60 percent in early January and December, according to a poll.
As these democratic processes move forward, the hysterical rants emanating from the Vatican get even shriller.
Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Vatican’s head of doctrine says critics of his faith’s anti-gay crusade are conducting a “concerted campaign” to discredit the Catholic Church that is resulting in open attacks against priests.
In an interview published on Saturday by Germany newspaper Die Welt, the Archbishop likened the sentiment directed at the Catholic Church to that of the persecution against Jews in Europe during World War II. For some reason, he failed to draw any parallel with his own church's famous medieval persecution, the legendary Spanish inquisition.
This is just another piece of Catholicism's recent homophobic rhetoric. Just before Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI accused gay people of manipulating their sexual orientation in the eyes of God.
Lustralboy says: "Three cheers for the democratic decisions in London and Paris, both triumphs for tolerance and diversity. As for the Vatican in Rome, frankly, who gives a damn?
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