Monday, June 20, 2016

813 Compulsory Gay indoctrination of schoolchildren under the misnomer "Safe Schools"

Compulsory Gay indoctrination of schoolchildren under the misnomer "Safe
Schools"

Newsletter published on 24 March 2016

(1) Anti-Homophobia campaign in schools teaches Gay Sex & Queer gender
theory
(2) Backbench revolt over Gay proselytism in Safe Schools program
(3) Ousted PM Tony Abbott told Safe Schools program teaches sexual &
gender diversity
(4) Safe Schools: 'bad content' removed from anti-bullying program.
Labor says Turnbull 'caved in to homophobes'
(5) Compulsory Gay indoctrination of schoolchildren under the misnomer
"Safe Schools"
(6) Dany Robert Dufour in the PCF (Stalinist) newspaper: the Working
Class oppose Gay Marriage
(7) Dissent Magazine Trots castigate Dany Robert Dufour, a Communist
(Stalinist) opponent of Gay Marriage

(1) Anti-Homophobia campaign in schools teaches Gay Sex & Queer gender
theory


From: "Mel" <bmelvi@tpg.com.au> Subject: "Safe Schools" program teaches
kids gay sex, cross dressing  Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2015 17:22:42 +1000

http://email.createsend.com.au/t/ViewEmail/r/2DE3C3551D64381F2540EF23F30FEDED/CB5A9BA3ADCC321DA29558A201773426
    Nicola

I’m writing to you with a sense of urgency and a deep concern for our
children in Queensland schools.

Today I am launching a petition calling on the Palaszczuk government to
stop the roll-out of the so-called "Safe Schools" program in Queensland.

The federally funded "Safe Schools" program is billed as an
anti-homophobia campaign, but really it is teaching gay sex and queer
gender theory to kids.

It’s even being rolled out in some primary schools.

Let me be very clear, our schools should be safe for every student.  No
one should have to suffer bullying and especially not at school.

But "Safe Schools" goes way beyond an anti-bullying campaign.

The program’s material could charitably be described as ‘explicit’.  It
contains:

   explicit discussions about gay and lesbian sex

   encourages schools to put up posters depicting gay and lesbian
relationships

   encourages schools to allow students to cross-dress

   suggests that schools set up unisex toilets

And that’s just the start of it.

The material is so explicit that yesterday the Queensland Parliament
censored quotes from the "Safe Schools" material from our petition…

Apparently this course is not suitable for our politicians but it is
suitable for our kids.

I’m asking that you will join me in standing up for our kids by signing
this petition calling for the program to be stopped.

Please sign the petition today and share it with your friends and family.

I’m confident that if enough of us speak up now, we can see this madness
stopped.

Thank you for all that you do.

God bless

Wendy Francis Queensland Director

http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2429

(2) Backbench revolt over Gay proselytism in Safe Schools program

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/safe-schools-petition-goes-missing-as-conservative-push-fractures-turnbull-frontbench-20160317-gnl66o.html

Safe Schools petition 'goes missing' as conservative push fractures
Turnbull frontbench

March 17, 2016 - 11:43AM

Michael Koziol, Matthew Knott

A renewed revolt against the Safe Schools anti-bullying program has
fractured the government's frontbench, with pressure mounting on Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene.

Industry Minister Christopher Pyne, formerly the education minister,
said the government-funded initiative should not be scrapped and that he
was "absolutely" against a parliamentary inquiry into the program.
Coalition MP George Christensen is driving the campaign against Safe
Schools.

But Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is among
those agitating for the program to be pared back, having previously
described it as "social entrepreneurship" that goes against the wishes
of parents.

And a petition being circulated by another Nationals MP, George
Christensen, demands Mr Turnbull suspend all funding for Safe Schools
until a "full blown" parliamentary inquiry is held. Upwards of 30 MPs
have reportedly signed the letter, including former prime minister Tony
Abbott - however it appears the document has since disappeared.

Asked on Thursday if there should be a parliamentary inquiry into Safe
Schools, Mr Pyne said: "Absolutely not." The program should not be
scrapped, he said, because he would want it to be available if his own
children were bullied.

"I was minister for education so I am familiar with the Safe Schools
Coalition. I took the view that the materials in it weren't directed at
me, they were directed at a younger audience and that bullying in
schools was unacceptable," Mr Pyne said.

"I took the view I shouldn't bring my 48-year-old attitude to these
materials because I have children of my own and if they were being
bullied I would want them to have the support they need."

The Safe Schools program is an opt-in initiative for schools that aims
to stamp out homophobia and assist students who are questioning their
sexuality or gender.

Launched in Victoria in 2010, it has received bipartisan funding and
support until now, when it has become the target of conservative forces
in the Parliament and media.

Mr Pyne said while some colleagues have been fixated on the program, he
has been focussed on issues such as the economy and jobs.

The petition has proven to be a source of diversion in and of itself,
with the letter seemingly having gone missing as it did the rounds among
backbenchers.

Mr Christensen sent a message to MPs early on Wednesday evening asking:
"Can the letter to the Prime Minister that George Christensen was
circulating in Question Time please be returned to his office."

But as of Thursday morning, senator Cory Bernardi - a strong opponent of
the Safe Schools program - said the whereabouts of the petition were
still unknown and attempts were being made to find it. Mr Christensen's
office would not confirm or deny if the document had disappeared.

The letter calls on Mr Turnbull to suspend funding for the program
pending the outcome of a proposed parliamentary inquiry. It follows a
two-week review by Emeritus Professor Bill Louden, which is currently
being considered by Education Minister Simon Birmingham. [...]

(3) Ousted PM Tony Abbott told Safe Schools program teaches sexual &
gender diversity

http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/03/17/03/33/most-mps-back-safe-schools-cut-christensen

  March 17, 2016

Abbott told of Safe Schools concerns: MPs

AAP

February 26, 2016: Nationals MP George Christensen has likened the
government funded Safe Schools program to child grooming in a parliament
speech yesterday.

Two strident critics of a controversial anti-bullying schools program
insist they told former prime minister Tony Abbott of their concerns.

Yet Mr Abbott is believed to be one of about three dozen government
backbenchers who have called for a parliamentary inquiry into Safe
Schools, which aims to address sexual and gender diversity issues.

They also want federal funding for the program suspended.

Nationals MP George Christensen is leading the call with a letter to
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The MPs claim an independent review of the program did not examine all
the materials and the resources it recommends.

As well, the review consulted only five Victorian schools and not a
single parents group.

The group wants an immediate suspension of federal funding, pending a
parliamentary inquiry.

Mr Christensen and Liberal senator Cory Bernardi deny their opposition
to the program is linked to their support for Mr Abbott.

The pair insist they aired their concerns while Mr Abbott was prime
minister.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham has told the backbenchers to hold
fire until they see the government's response to the review.

"I'm confident the government's response will be strong and will give
people confidence in how the resources are used," he told reporters in
Canberra on Thursday.

Fellow cabinet minister Christopher Pyne, a former education minister,
said he was "absolutely" opposed to a parliamentary inquiry.

Mr Christensen said the program was attempting to run "queer gender
theory" and Marxist ideology into schools that should be limited to
universities.

"I don't want to see sexual liberation of young people. I don't want to
see young people sexualised at all," he told reporters.

"They're saying you shouldn't say boys and girls in the classroom, are
we going on a purge of the dictionary here?"

Fellow Queenslander Warren Entsch said the concerns were being pushed by
external lobby groups.

"It seems to me there needs to be more of an education program for some
of these adults that are making these noises," he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten labelled the coalition MPs "knuckle
draggers" who were trying to inflict their outdated views on schools.

"Why not let the schools, the teachers, the parents and kids work out
their education rather than a group of ideologues ... trying to impose a
1950s view of the world," he told reporters.

Mr Turnbull accused the Labor leader of seeking to extract partisan
advantage that was thoroughly unworthy.

"All members expressing views should choose their words carefully and
remember the impact their statements can have on young people and their
families," he told parliament.

(4) Safe Schools: 'bad content' removed from anti-bullying program.
Labor says Turnbull 'caved in to homophobes'


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-18/safe-schools-program-to-be-modified-only-used-in-high-schools/7258826

Safe Schools: George Christensen welcomes 'gutting' of 'bad content' in
anti-bullying program

By political reporter Dan Conifer, staff

The Federal Government is ordering changes to the Safe Schools
anti-bullying program following a review and a rebellion by backbench MPs.

The quick-fire investigation was prompted by conservative Coalition MPs
and senators who were worried about the age appropriateness of some of
the material in the program, which is designed to help schools tackle
the bullying of gay students.

It found some of the resources, including role-playing activities, were
inappropriate.

Earlier this week, in the wake of the release of the review's findings,
Coalition MPs circulated a petition calling for the program to be
suspended or axed.

Today Education Minister Simon Birmingham said some lesson plans would
change and the program would only be used in high schools.

"There are areas where the content could be improved and we will make
sure that it is improved," Senator Birmingham said.

"The actions we're taking I think are strong but measured to make sure
we get the welfare of students right."

Third-party links and references will also be removed.

Safe Schools was announced by the former Labor government and introduced
under the Abbott government.

Today Coalition MP George Christensen, one of the program's most vocal
critics, said he was happy with the changes.

"We're gutting most of the bad content," he said.

"We're not going to have students exposed to websites that take them off
to adult shops or to groups that are running sex toy workshops for youth
and that sort of thing. That's got no place in this program."

Openly gay Liberal senator Dean Smith said he was pleased with the
response and that it was a "very responsible decision by the Government".

Turnbull 'caved into homophobes'

Labor's education spokeswoman Kate Ellis accused Prime Minister Malcolm
Turnbull of caving in to right-wing conservatives.

"How do we expect any student in the schoolyard to stand up to bullies
if Australia's own Prime Minister can't stand up to the bullies within
the fringe of his own party?" she asked.

"This review shows that the sort of radical, disgusting and extreme
statements that were being made by Liberal backbenchers have shown to be
totally wrong and totally untrue," Ms Ellis said.

Openly gay Greens senator Robert Simms said Mr Turnbull had capitulated.

"The moment you cave into homophobes on the backbench you let the genie
out of bottle and there is no pleasing them," Senator Simms said.

"We're seeing this program being gutted; we're seeing this program being
significantly narrowed in terms of its focus."

On Thursday, Mr Christensen said the program should be suspended because
he did not want to see young people "sexually liberated".

"I don't want to see sexual liberation of young people, I don't want to
see young people sexualised at all," he said.

(5) Compulsory Gay indoctrination of schoolchildren under the misnomer
"Safe Schools"


    Kelvin Heslop <keljohn01@gmail.com>

23 March 2016 at 08:20

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/heterosexual-men-who-lean-right-are-the-pc-hate-target-of-choice/news-story/

White, Male and Increasingly Discriminated Against

The Australian

March 21, 2016

By Jennifer Oriel

Any doubt that Labor is captive to neo-Marxism was dispelled by its
campaign to enforce compulsory queer political programming of
schoolchildren under the misnomer "Safe Schools".

Queer activists trashed conservative senator Cory Bernardi's office on
Friday after Green-Left politicians, including Labor leader Bill
Shorten, called him homophobic for opposing the strategy.

Unlike Bernardi, state-designated minorities are protected by
discrimination and affirmative action laws. Such laws provide a
permanent position of victimhood to justify bigotry against the PC hate
target of choice: heterosexual men who lean Right.

Proliferating minority groups claim special protection under affirmative
action law while constructing the form of society it was designed to
prevent: a society governed by codified inequality. Under the aegis of
special measures, they use affirmative action to enact new forms of
exclusion on the basis of inborn biological traits such as race and sex.

In the recent Queensland University of Technology case, male students
were barred from a computer room allegedly because of their race. Former
administrative officer Cindy Prior, an indigenous Australian, asked the
students whether they were indigenous before asking them to leave. In
court documents, she cited the need for "safe space" on campus.

The race discrimination commissioner at the Australian Human Rights
Commission, Tim Soutphommasane, stated he would not comment directly on
the QUT case to news.com.au but referred to special measures under the
Racial Discrimination Act. The A H RC referred the case to the Federal
Circuit Court.

Its website page devoted to RDA special measures states they are for
indigenous people, some migrant and refugee groups. Importantly, the
AHRC differentiates formal from substantive equality. Formal equality is
equality of all citizens before the law and commonly associated with
equal opportunity. Substantive equality is inequality under the law in
favour of state-designated minority groups towards equality of outcome.
Substantive equality thus reverses genuine equality. It is a prime
example of the neo-Marxist doublethink that characterises contemporary
Left thought and undermines universal human rights. Instead of
sunsetting special measures past their use-by date, the hard Left uses
them to justify ever more extreme forms of exclusion and bigotry.

The only group of citizens wholly excluded from the attributes list that
comprises minority status under law are heterosexual, able-bodied men
classified as "white". The racial classification "white" is attributed
generally to people of Celtic, English or European descent. In academe,
it is common to find statements about the group that would be classified
as hate speech if applied to any other. When I was an undergraduate, the
phrase "the only good male is a dead white male" was ubiquitous in the
humanities.

In an article on The Conversation, education fellow Sarah Pett
complained about canonical writers such as Shakespeare, Tennyson, Eliot,
Sophocles, Ovid and Homer, calling to "push dead white men like
Shakespeare out of the limelight". In response to the Safe Schools
debate, sociology lecturer Lucy Nicholas wrote: "While white, cisgender,
heterosexual male politicians are quibbling over whether or not we
should expose young people to the term pan-sexual ... young people have
never been queerer."

Neo-Marxists use the minority politics of race and gender as communists
used class, sowing envy and victimhood to create a revolutionary mass
primed to attack a selected target. An extreme consequence of the PC
bigotry came to light last year when academic journals refused to
publish research demonstrating a steep rise in the suicide rate of white
men.

Nobel laureate Angus Deaton co-authored a paper with economist Anne Case
showing a spike in premature deaths and suicide among white, middle-aged
men and women. According to Deaton, the research was rejected by
academic journals on spurious grounds. Rather than offer sympathy for
the suicide victims and their families, sections of the Left blamed the
victims, claiming the premature deaths were caused by men losing their
"white privilege". The spike in suicide among middle-aged white
Americans was thus refrained as an act of self-indulgence, even when
research suggested its cause lay in structural disadvantage owing to
factors such as low education rate leading to mass unemployment.

The term "white privilege" is a corollary of neo-Marxist politics whose
experts pervade critical race and postcolonial studies in universities.
The term is used to justify bigotry towards people with racial,
religious or cultural attributes deemed politically incorrect

The AHRC recommends courses that advance the idea of white privilege as
best practice for anti-racism education. In America, academic symposiums
are devoted to it, including the Wisconsin National White Privilege
Conference whose content illustrates the underwhelming intellectual
prowess of the field: "The session begins with mind and body grounding
in processes, proceeds to examining the biological wisdom of the human
cell, moves to an analysis of race and class oppression/liberation
dynamics... with particular attention to class supremacy and white
privilege".

Griffith University lecturer Marcus Woolombi Waters recently won praise
on social media for his criticism of white privilege in Australia. After
travelling overseas to deliver a keynote address, he wrote: "Generally
every staff member is white on every major Australian airline. So here
we are as black people, jumping on an aircraft of white people being
served by white people, immersed back into a world of whiteness." The
perception that white people serving black people constitutes white
privilege does seem rather at odds with reality.

The greatest erosion of human potential arises from the belief that some
of us are born more equal than others. The creed was captured best by
George Orwell in his satire of the Russian Revolution, Animal Farm: "All
animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." In the
21st century West affirmative action regimes bestow state-approved
minorities with rights and advantages denied their fellow citizens. They
are more equal than others. We used to call that inequality. We once
fought against it.

(6) Dany Robert Dufour in the PCF (Stalinist) newspaper: the Working
Class oppose Gay Marriage


"Working-class people are less interested in reforms such as gay marriage"

"the true freedom of humankind depends on our ability to face the
unavoidable question of sexual divisions in our species: surely every
child has a right to have a father and a mother?

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/gay-marriage-and-the-limits-of-french-liberalism

{see next item for publication details}

A class-conscious variant of this rhetoric appeared in the Communist
newspaperL’Humanité as part of an interview with Dany Robert Dufour, a
left-wing libertarian professor of educational sciences at the
University of Paris. Dufour presents himself as a néo-résistant who
rejects the neoliberal wave. "Working-class people are less interested
in reforms such as gay marriage," he wrote, "because more than others,
they see that capitalism is really what drives this ‘permanent
revolution.’ So they are wary of them, and this makes it easy to tag
them as ‘reactionaries’ or ‘neo-reactionaries.’" According to Dufour,
whose thinking on this matter cannot be easily distinguished from that
of the right, "the true freedom of humankind depends on our ability to
face the unavoidable question of sexual divisions in our species:
surely every child has a right to have a father and a mother?"
Needless to say, this "unavoidable question" and "the right of a child
to have a father and a mother" are Dufour’s own constructions.
Anthropologists, sociologists of the family, and historians have all
demonstrated that there have been many family models in the course of
human history.

(7) Dissent Magazine Trots castigate Dany Robert Dufour, a Communist
(Stalinist) opponent of Gay Marriage


Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 03:49:18 +0900
From: chris lancenet <chrislancenet@gmail.com>

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/gay-marriage-and-the-limits-of-french-liberalism

Gay Marriage and the Limits of French Liberalism

Marc Olivier Baruch

Dissent Magazine Fall 2013

  "Mom and dad: there is nothing better for a child!" (ANFAD, Flickr
creative commons)

Last spring the rights of same-sex couples gained recognition in a
number of places throughout the world. In the United States, three
states—Delaware, Minnesota, and Rhode Island—legalized same-sex
marriage, while supreme courts in two heavyweights on the international
scene, Brazil and Germany, struck down statutes discriminating against
homosexuals in the name of equality under the law. All these places have
quite different social structures and legal systems, yet gay marriage
did not stir much controversy in any of them.

But it was different in France—and for regrettable reasons. To be sure,
on May 18 President François Hollande did sign a law stipulating that
"marriage is a contract between two persons who are either of the same
sex or of a different sex." Eleven days later, Hélène Mandroux, the
mayor of Montpellier, was the first public official to wed a homosexual
couple.

But what fears and turmoil the debate aroused! On May 21 the right-wing
historian Dominique Venner (a former member of the OAS, the clandestine
organization created to kill Charles de Gaulle in order avenge the loss
of Algeria) committed suicide on the altar of the Cathedral of Notre
Dame in Paris. Venner wanted, he said, to "awaken consciences" and stir
them against "the erosion of European civilization." Other opponents of
the law summoned a long list of natural right and counterrevolutionary
thinkers, from Thomas Aquinas to Joseph de Maistre.

Then, on June 10, one anti-gay group tried to exploit the memory of the
1944 massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, where SS soldiers slew 642 people,
including many children, by setting the church in which they had found
refuge on fire. At the end of the annual ceremony paying tribute to the
victims of this tragedy, the cabinet minister for veterans was presented
with a petition demanding that "such atrocities and violence shall never
happen again. Nor should those in power ever impose unjust laws on a
free people, without paying heed to the needs of the weakest members in
our society, namely, children." Meanwhile, the extreme right-wing think
tank Civitas (whose motto is "Neither Masonic nor secular, France is
Catholic") called for "steadfast resistance to the subversive plan of
this revolutionary government led by obscure forces."

Why all this fuss? It isn’t simply because two women wanted to get
married so that one of them could adopt the ten-year-old child they had
raised together for eight years. The controversy was so heated because
of three developments in contemporary France that became intertwined.

First was the 2012 election of Hollande, the Socialist candidate, as
president. Hollande’s platform endorsed same-sex marriage as well as the
legalization of child adoption by gay couples. Nicolas Sarkozy, the
incumbent, opposed both measures in order to appeal to the far right,
most of which is found in the National Front. For Sarkozy, this
signified a change of strategy, not belief. In 2007, soon after he was
elected president, he extended to gay couples the same fiscal advantages
that married couples have. Indeed, he had never been accused of
homophobia before. His wife, the singer Carla Bruni, has a number of
close gay friends.

In 2012, following the advice of two of his most influential spin
doctors—the ultra-nationalist Patrick Buisson and the "social Gaullist"
Henri Guaino—Sarkozy broke with the strategy he had used in 2007, when
he ran as a centrist against the Socialist candidate Segolène Royal. To
win against Hollande, a man who values compromise and is more a social
democrat than a true socialist, Buisson and Guaino advocated adopting
the mantle of traditionalism to win over the most reactionary currents
in French society. Sarkozy set out to deny the National Front a monopoly
on the political exploitation of fears and status anxieties about both
homosexuals and recent immigrants. As a result, the election was much
closer than the polls had predicted, even if Hollande did triumph.

Sarkozy’s move to the right for the 2012 campaign had significant
consequences for the debate about gay marriage. His anti-gay stance was
enough of a success to convince Jean François Copé, head of the Union
for a Popular Movement (UMP), the party of Sarkozy and the mainstream
right, to persist in using it. With the Tea Party as his model, he saw
an opportunity to put Hollande’s government on the defensive at a time
when the economic crisis was already eroding its popularity. In many of
the large anti-gay marriage demonstrations, the foot soldiers of the UMP
marched down the streets alongside the defenders of traditional social
and religious values—the ultra-conservative bourgeoisie, orthodox
religious institutions (Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish), and a nebula of
neo-fascist groups that share a nostalgia for French Algeria, the Vichy
Regime, and sometimes even Nazism. Jacques Chirac, who presided over
French conservatism from the 1970s to Sarkozy’s election in 2007, had
always tried to quarantine the mainstream right from such forces.

To win against Hollande, a man who values compromise and is more a
social democrat than a true socialist, Sarkozy’s advisers advocated
adopting the mantle of traditionalism to win over the most reactionary
currents in French society.

Opponents of gay marriage did not just mobilize the activist right; they
also enjoyed the support of many pundits, including some on the left.
Few of them resisted the temptation to dress up their prejudice as
analytical thinking. Denying the democratic legitimacy of the decision
made by the representatives of the people, many commentators considered
it their duty to warn against the grave danger in which the sorcerer’s
apprentices in the National Assembly were putting the country, Western
civilization, even the entire human species. This gave the debate a
third turn of the screw.

The Roman Catholic Church loomed large in this effort. Its conservatism
in sexual matters is nothing new; for nearly half a century, popes have
denounced birth control, abortion, and homosexual relations. As the
sociologist Danièle Hervieu-Léger put it in Le Monde, "The rhetoric used
by the Church (that same-sex couples equal the end of civilization, that
they kick out the foundations of human identity, and that they imperil
the nuclear family and blur the difference between the sexes) was
exactly the rhetoric used in earlier struggles against women’s work or
the legalization of divorce by mutual consent."

Here it matters that France used to be a Catholic country. The Church’s
backward struggle against gay marriage could be seen as its last gasp
against the process of secularization that has been at work since the
French Revolution. "The democratic impulse now reaches into the private
sphere," Hervieu-Léger continued, "and allows people to claim
fundamental rights that no law from above—whether the manifestation of
God’s will or even nature’s—can deny."

France, as a secular nation, was expressly built not against God’s law
but alongside it. Freedom of religion is widely recognized, but no
supra-constitutional order can be used to oppress a minority. As for the
"laws of nature" often touted by conservatives, the Conseil constitution
(equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court) has sternly ruled that they have
no place in French law. The Conseil, in spite of having a conservative
majority, validated the marriage law, stating that "while heretofore the
law has defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, this rule
can in no way be seen as a founding principle of the Republic. Any
attempt to challenge the law on the grounds that marriage is ‘naturally’
the union of a man and a woman will fail."

The ruling of the Conseil constitutionnel bears emphasizing because, in
France, law is a very conservative discipline. In fact, a significant
number of jurists made common cause with supposedly progressive
sociologists and philosophers who opposed gay marriage in the name of an
"anthropological order." Sylviane Agacinski—the wife of former Socialist
prime minister Lionel Jospin—wrote for Le Monde a widely cited opinion
piece entitled "Two Mothers = One Father?" Agacinski defined the
question of gay parenthood as a "forceful denial of the finite and
incomplete character of both sexes"—the same argument she had used years
before to oppose a law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

A class-conscious variant of this rhetoric appeared in the Communist
newspaper L’Humanité as part of an interview with Dany Robert Dufour, a
left-wing libertarian professor of educational sciences at the
University of Paris. Dufour presents himself as a néo-résistant who
rejects the neoliberal wave. "Working-class people are less interested
in reforms such as gay marriage," he wrote, "because more than others,
they see that capitalism is really what drives this ‘permanent
revolution.’ So they are wary of them, and this makes it easy to tag
them as ‘reactionaries’ or ‘neo-reactionaries.’" According to Dufour,
whose thinking on this matter cannot be easily distinguished from that
of the right, "the true freedom of humankind depends on our ability to
face the unavoidable question of sexual divisions in our species: surely
every child has a right to have a father and a mother?" Needless to say,
this "unavoidable question" and "the right of a child to have a father
and a mother" are Dufour’s own constructions. Anthropologists,
sociologists of the family, and historians have all demonstrated that
there have been many family models in the course of human history.

In many of the large anti-gay marriage demonstrations, the foot soldiers
of the UMP marched down the streets alongside the defenders of
traditional social and religious values—the ultra-conservative
bourgeoisie, orthodox religious institutions (Catholic, Muslim, and
Jewish), and a nebula of neo-fascist groups.

The last argument used by opponents of same-sex marriage draws on the
long French tradition of anti-Americanism. Gay communitarianism and a
promethean desire to do away with the laws of nature are resented as two
aspects of a broader project spawned in the United States that seeks to
expand the sphere of capitalistic activity by allowing medically
assisted procreation and surrogacy contracts. As Dufour wrote in Le
Monde, "Let homosexuals marry if they so desire. Let them create and
subvert roles and signs of masculinity and femininity….[But] homosexuals
should realize that they will never be able to claim full equality with
heterosexual couples because the capacity to have children is not a
natural function they are missing, but a basic impossibility."

The issue of gay marriage reveals the limits of France’s vaunted
liberalism on sexual matters. Indeed, the editorial pillars of French
intellectual life—not only Le Monde but also the center-left publication
Le Débat and the more conservative Commentaire—gave a good deal of space
to writers who opposed the rights of same-sex couples. As the legal
scholar Daniel Borrillo noted, "Each time the rights of sexual
minorities have been on the agenda, a number of pundits have used the
threat of gay communitarianism to suggest that the republican fabric of
society would unravel if gay rights were acknowledged."

To be sure, the words and phrases that frame this type of conservatism
have changed. While in the 1960s homosexuals were often accused of being
"perverts," in the 1990s they were said to be too "different." Today,
opposition to the rights of same-sex couples is said to be a question of
"choice." New bottles, but old wine—the rejection of true equality under
the law has remained the same.

Although Socialists enacted the legalization of gay marriage, most of
them failed to mount a spirited defense of the law—just as fifteen years
ago, when the civil union law was debated, the Socialist Party seemed
reluctant to deliver on its own campaign promise, which had been
included on its platform to appeal to young leftists. During the debates
in the National Assembly in the spring of 2013, many members of
Hollande’s party provided only half-hearted or token support for the
proposed reform. This often left the pugnacious minister of justice,
Christiane Taubira, the representative for French Guyana, fighting a
lonely battle against right-wingers. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
publicly opposed the Socialists’ own family minister, who argued that
the issue of medically assisted procreation (MAP) for homosexual couples
could not be distinguished from the issue of marriage. In fact, only the
Greens and the Communists—who hold few votes in the assembly—were
willing to have a real debate on this question. As a result, French
lesbians who want recourse to MAP must still travel to Brussels or
Amsterdam—an unsettling echo from the past, when French women traveled
to the same places to obtain abortions.

When it comes to sexual rights, the French left could be a lot bolder.
But the only audacity most Socialists displayed cut the other way. In an
odd speech given at the annual meeting of the 36,000-member French
association of mayors—many of whom are conservative—Hollande himself
suggested that they could always invoke the "conscience clause" if they
did not want to wed gay couples. This was an amazing statement from the
person who is supposed to be the guardian of the constitution,
especially because there is no such thing as a "conscience clause" in
French law. Rather, as the interior minister quickly—and
quietly—reminded the prefects, refusing to marry gay couples would be an
indictable breach of duty.

The issue of gay marriage thus reveals a social conservatism that
remains strong even on the French left. Consider that only 2 of the 577
deputies in the National Assembly have come out as gays. Should we
conclude that 99.65 percent of the representatives of the French people
are heterosexual? If so, it is debatable whether they truly represent
the republic they were elected to serve. Or perhaps our deputies, a
majority of whom are Socialists, still believe in the virtues of the closet.

Translated by Jean-Christian Vinel.

Marc Olivier Baruch previously worked in the French departments of
education and culture and the office of the prime minister. He now
teaches contemporary history and history of the state in the École des
hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris. He has written books on
occupied France, postwar purges, and public elites under dictatorships,
and a forthcoming essay on French historians and the law.



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