Life is beautiful and imperfect, a source of wonder and a challenge so complex that it’s good to pause from time to time and check our perspective and priorities against eternal truth. Jim Daly’s blog, Daly Focus, is full of daily insight and wisdom that promises to help you navigate today’s culture.
At first glance it seems like a somewhat inconceivable notion: nearly 800,000 French citizens taking to the streets to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Yet, that's exactly what happened over this past weekend in Paris.
France's socialist government plans to vote this year on a bill that would redefine marriage, but many of its citizens, both liberal and conservative, would rather the vote be put to the people, not left in the hands of a select few lawmakers.
As the old saying goes, politics makes for strange bedfellows, and the debate about marriage that is raging in France is no exception. According to reports, many French liberals - even homosexuals - oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage.
They believe exactly what so many social conservatives in the United States have been arguing for years, that same-sex marriage unfairly discriminates against children. In fact, the homosexual mayor of Paris has been repeating a popular phrase: “The rights of children trump the right to children.”
France's chief rabbi, Gilles Bernheim, and Louis-Georges Barret, Vice President of the Christian Democratic Party, have suggested that nobody has a right to children. If there was such a right, they argue, it would mean reclassifying children as objects, making them mere pawns.
Jean-Dominique Bunel is a French filmmaker who also opposes legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. His opposition isn’t merely philosophical or even ideological. It’s personal. He was raised by two lesbians, and it’s clear from his comments that he deeply missed the presence of a father in the home:
I oppose this bill because in the name of a fight against inequalities and discrimination, we would refuse a child one of its most sacred rights, upon which a universal, millennia-old tradition rests, that of being raised by a father and a mother. You see, two rights collide: the right to a child for gays, and the right of a child to a mother and father. The international convention on the rights of the child stipulates in effect that "the highest interest of the child should be a primary consideration" (Article 3, section 1).
The same-sex marriage debates now rages from one continent to the other. There are deep theological reasons for our support of one-man, one-woman marriage, but there is also much merit to the ongoing French debate, even though it’s largely not being argued from a religious perspective. Nevertheless, I find it encouraging to see the honest and robust discussion that’s unfolding about the subject.
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Oh not the children?
I'm a little confused by Daly's argument. My wife and I don't have children and don't really plan on having any, so I don't see what children have to do with marriage rights. I was able to get married without children entering the picture, so I'm not sure why Daly is using children to argue against gay couples getting married.
Here in America, there are thousands of gay couples with kids. The lack of legal recognition for their family did not stop them from becoming a couple or from having or raising kids.
So, tell me again, how does not allowing their parents to get married help these kids?
It is in God's plan for us whether or not a wife and husband have children, not our plan for us. We keep trying to take control of our lives and others, our way and look at our world now.
Marriage is the union and covenent between a man and a woman, they are designed to be together as one. Children are a given fruit of that marriage and have the right to be raised within that marriage. Children, that means all of us, need a man/father and a woman/mother to exist. Men and women are not designed to be together with the same gender, therefore they are not designed to be together in marriage.
We in Uganda are being faced with the SIN of homosexuality, what has happened in Paris is a great encouragement to us and we hope that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through his son Jesus will strengthen and encourage our legislators towards righteousness.
Wasn't there a bill proposed in Uganda that suggested the death penalty for gay people?
Marriage already has a definition and is defined by God. If homosexuals want benefits from the government for tax purposes, health Insurance etc. then they should approach the providers and ask for a union, partnership clause to be recognized.That would allow them such benefits. The change needs to be in these areas. Not in that of marriage or how it is defined.
Hello Jim and commenters, thank you for relaying the news of our movement ("La Manif pour Tous" -- "The demonstration for everyone", since the government mislabeled its law project "Le mariage pour tous" instead of a blunt but clear "Le mariage homosexuel"!), of which I am one of the 10 spokespersons.
"Jan 16, 5:25 AM", your confusion may stem from a difference in the definition of "marriage" between our countries. Here, in France, marriage is an institution for couples who intend to have children, and it's meant to securize the union to protect said children. Love between 2 people does not need any official condoning, it's a private matter. When we marry in France, we receive from the town hall not a "Marriage booklet", but a "Family booklet", the message is very clear.
"Jan 16, 5:31 AM", it's not a good idea to "help" something by maiming something else. There are thousands of gay couples with children here in France too, and something has to be done to securize better their families, and will. Changing completely the definition of marriage to do that is not the solution.
"Jan 16, 2:29 PM", thank you, your summary is eloquent, poetic and truthful!
"Jan 16, 3:50 PM", you forgot Ismael! ;)
"Jan 16, 11:38 PM", I agree, but it works for an agnostic like me without needing to bring YHWH in the picture! ;)
Jim, I propose that the fact that we, in our movement, "don't argue from a religious perspective" is a good thing and a more effective approach than the opposite, although I understand that, as a religion-oriented media, you'd be happier that way.
Our republican (which doesn't mean right-wing in France) values and institutions, and 2000 years of philosophy, are well enough to argue at best, since we well know that we're on the better side of Reason compared with proponents of this kind of law. However, the Scriptures are part of human culture, it's an incredibly rich corpus of morals, precepts, parabols and even an atheist like me (who's however been well guided by the example of Jesus Christ) will use points from the Bible, in a modern perspective.
Thanks again for the piece and have a good day, all!
"La Manif pour Tous"
Socially speaking, France's Communist Party is very conservative. They have a low tolerance for 'cultural communism' that has become so popular; though they are losing power because of it.