February 2 saw the first article of the French gay marriage bill, that deletes all gender references from marriage applications, pass in the National Assembly. Final approval of the whole bill occurred on Feb. 12 with a vote of 329 to 229. Moving onto the Senate on Tuesday April 9, the first article passed by a vote of 179-157. The Senate was due vote on the rest of the numerous amendments before returning the entire bill to the National Assembly for final approval.
On April 24, the ruling Socialist party and their allies in the lower house of the National Assembly passed the bill 331 in favour - 225 against, giving same-sex couples the legal right to marry and adopt children. This secures the gay marriage status in France. A predictable backlash from the Catholic Church has now been unleashed.
The Osservatore Romano on Wednesday published a piece which accused the French President of ignoring the wishes of French citizens, and causing divisions in French society. “The government of President Hollande, who has strongly supported the bill, did not pay attention to the many voices in recent months from many sectors of French society. And not only by Catholics,” the newspaper said.
France’s former Catholic leader, André Vingt-Trois, who last week stepped down as Archbishop of Paris, also accused Hollande’s government of “refusing all differences between the sexes”. Quelle surprise, as thevFrench would say!
Polls have shown majority support for gay marriage. But, for the past six months, hundreds of thousands have demonstrated against marriage equality. Most of the opposition, unsurprisinlgy, comes from conservative religious institutions!
Elsewhere, Congress in Uruguay yesterday voted overwhelmingly to legalise gay marriage, becoming the the third country in the Americas after Canada and Argentina to eliminate laws that keep marriage, adoption and other family rights exclusive to heterosexuals. Despite the usual unsurprising opposition from the Roman Catholic Church in Uruguay, 71 out of 92 deputies voted in favour of the measure. Federico Grana, a leader of the Black Sheep Collective, the gay rights group that drafted the proposal, commented, "In terms of the steps needed, we calculate that the first gay couples should be getting married 90 days after the promulgation of the law, or in the middle of July."
Lou Engle. Incitement to hatred.
Finally, some 1,300 people gathered at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday. They came to hear American evangelist Lou Engle preach at a rally against "homosexuality, witchcraft, and corruption." Engle has founded his new chapter of TheCall Uganda at a time of escalating violence and homophobia towards LGBT people in the country, in particular the disgraceful Anti-Homosexuality Bill. As readers of Lustralboy will know, this calls for life imprisonment for gays and their supporters, as well as the death penalty in certain circumstances. Unsurprisingly, Engle chose this fragile location to further incite anger towards gay people in Uganda.
Lustralboy says: three unsurprising instances of conservative religious opposition. Two have failed. One to go. Save us from Uganda!
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