France: Blunt comments on gay mariage land Macron in hot water


**France: Blunt comments on gay marriage land Macron in hot water

Presidential candidate’s remarks on gay marriage and Algeria raise hackles

In just two days, the centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron managed to enrage the French right, extreme right and the lesbian, gay and transsexual community with comments that were unusually frank for him.

Polls indicate Mr Macron will come in second in the first round of the presidential election on April 23rd. Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right wing Front National, is expected to win the first round, but be defeated in the May 7th run-off.

In an interview with l’Obs magazine, Mr Macron expressed sympathy for hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, many of them traditionalist Catholics, who had opposed the Taubira law that legalised same-sex marriage in 2013.

One of the “fundamental errors” of President Francois Hollande’s term was “to ignore a part of the country which has good reasons to live in resentment and sad passions”, Mr Macron told l’Obs. “That’s what happened with ‘marriage for all’; that France was humiliated”.**

‘Fundamental error’

Virginie Combe, spokeswoman for SOS Homophobia, accused Mr Macron of “going after voters” and said it was a “fundamental error” for him to discount the hatred shown by opponents of same-sex marriage.

Polls show Mr Macron is siphoning off significant support from Francois Fillon, the candidate for the right-wing Les Républicains who is mired in scandal over payments to family members for allegedly fake jobs.

The socialist party secretary general Jean-Christophe Cambadélis said he was “stunned to see Emmanuel Macron defend the anti-‘marriage for all’ campaign. By trying to be everywhere, one ends up being nowhere.”…

Mr Macron defended himself, saying it had been a mistake to allow the debate on same-sex marriage to drag on, “profoundly dividing society and giving the impression to one side that it had not been heard”.


I don’t know if she’ll have enough time to surpass Macron, but Le Pen will I think make a pretty darn good showing in the election, possibly even win it.


Nah, she’ll lose the final run-off against Macron - unless the Russian hacks his campaign has been subjected to damage him. I think the French state has learned from the Clinton fiasco with Russia, however, and cyber security has been tightened up.

Le Pen will win the first round, no doubt. But when it comes to the run-off, she just isn’t going to get broad support from the centre-left and right. She isn’t Trump - indeed, she’d make him look like a puppy by comparison.

Surely you agree with Macron’s comments vis-a-vis the right of traditionalist Catholics in France to protest gay marriage and to be included in the national discussion along with other, opposing factions?

This shows a man willing to work in the interests of all French, whether of the left or right. He doesn’t identify with either side, which is why he draws the largest crowds to his rallies from people who want to “break” the stranglehold of the party system.


Marine Le Pen supports keeping abortion legal, and opposes efforts to abolish public subsidies for abortion. However, she believes that abortion is a serious moral issue that is too often regarded as trivial by French culture.

Sounds a bit like Bernie Sanders stance, sorry, but not good enough. Not good enough by half, these people pave the path for Planned Parenthood. I wouldn’t vote for her unless I absolutely felt I had no other possible choice and even then I would have serious reservations.

Any politician who is okay with abortion like that, is one that has sold out and cannot stand up for what is right and just. How could anyone who knows what abortion entails (or should know) support subsidies for it and keeping it legal? All she is doing is paving the way for Planned Parenthood, especially with subsidies

France does not look good at all, glad I don’t live there. And how far they have fallen too!

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Unlike many French Socialists, including former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Macron supports the open-door policy toward immigrants and refugees pursued by Angela Merkel in Germany.

Emmanuel Macron is out too, any other candidates the French have? If not, they are screwed. :frowning:

Emmanuel Macron hasn’t answered the abortion question yet, not a good sign either.

“For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Marine Le Pen could ‘blow up’ the European Union, and the fear’s starting to show


Sorry but “Russian hacking” had absolutely nothing to do with Donald Trump winning the election. Not a single vote was affected. Though I must say it is refreshing to see the left suddenly so patriotic, such hawks. Russian hacking, along with the Chinese and other enemies of the US, has been a widespread security threat for literally years. Good on Obama for timely addressing and shutting that down. My goodness.

As for Macron’s comments, I agree with them, but see them as a rather obvious ploy to pull Fillon supporters away from Le Pen. An appeal to traditional Catholics since, for whatever reason, there appears to be a slight revival along these lines in France.


Sure, there is political strategy involved here (the bulk of Fillon supporters are going towards him now that the latter is scandal-ridden) but I also believe him because it fits in with his ideology and background.

He comes from a Catholic family from Amiens and attended a Jesuit school.

So as a candidate with a background in both the French Left and traditional provincial France, he intends to “bridge the gap,” so to speak. That has been his agenda from the beginning.


Agreed, and the French are surprisingly open about opposing gay marriage - even gays do it. I imagine it is being a Catholic country or something - strong tradition of marriage at the core of their culture. I think they get the importance of that; don’t see opposition as ‘intolerant.’ Say what you will, the French are smart. It’s different from Anglo Saxon culture on this issue.


Agreed - the opposition to gay marriage in France has been a pervasive grassroots movement in France:

**Gay marriage fires up the conservative Catholics

“Resistance! Resistance!” urged the voice in the megaphone, galvanising the tens of thousands of marchers waving pink and blue flags in the upmarket 16th arrondissement of Paris on Sunday.**

A group of sixtysomethings holding rosaries walked past reciting the Hail Mary. Priests in black soutanes, a rare sight these days, mixed with neat families in Lacoste polo shirts, coloured chinos and brown loafers. Some brandished monarchist flags emblazoned with the fleur-de-lis; more flourished the tricolore. Golden-haired children, running around or in pushchairs, seemed to make up half the crowd.

Marchers of La Manif Pour Tous, the movement born in opposition to the same-sex marriage law introduced in 2013 by president François Hollande, differ from the scruffy protesters who have taken to the streets of the capital this year to oppose labour market reform. But, just like them, they are a force to be reckoned with…

This streak of French Catholic conservatism goes back a long way. In 1905 Catholic conservatives fought anticlerical Republicans seeking to establish a strict separation of state and religion. Today they mobilise on matters dear to them: family and private education.

In 1984 they protested en masse against François Mitterrand’s bill to limit the public funding available to private schools (most of which are Catholic), forcing the Socialist president to retreat. More recently, French opposition to same-sex marriage has been the fiercest in Europe.

Philippe, a 22-year old student who declined to give his surname, told me: “There is no such thing as equal rights. There is the law — that defines what people are allowed to do or not. Up until two years ago, only a man and a woman were allowed to get married. If it is a question of equality, then the next step is to allow the ménages à trois to marry.”

His friend Gaspard, a 23-year-old seminarist from Bordeaux, said Hollande was eroding family values by challenging conventional notions of gender. “The idea that gender is not predetermined is wrong,” he said.

Albert, a 35-year-old corporate executive who lives in Louveciennes, a wealthy western Parisian suburb, hurried past pushing two of his eight children in a stroller. He said he worried about court rulings circumventing a ban on medically assisted procreation for same-sex couples. “This changes society slowly,” he said. “I don’t want to impose my religion on anyone. It’s not homophobia — I just want to protect my children.”…

“You’re on the good side of the fight,” Marie-Claude Bompard, the far-right mayor of the southern town of Bollène, told the crowd. “No need to be a graduate from Ena [the elite school that grooms top civil servants] to understand that you need a man and a woman to have children.”

The politician was not alone courting the Catholic vote that day. Marine Le Pen, the far-right National Front leader, did not join — but her niece, Marion Marechal Le Pen, and her partner, Louis Aliot, were there. Jean-Frédéric Poisson, leader of the Christian Democrat party — who is vying for the centre-right presidential nomination — was present too. François Fillon, the former centre-right prime minister who is also competing for the nomination, expressed his sympathy.

“Whoever wins the rightwing presidential nomination will have to listen to them,” Bouvet says…

I would indeed relate it to the Catholic confessional culture, which has persisted alongside the official state secularism.

Le Pen has never embraced or even really tried to out to these people. Far-right yes but traditional and religious conservative she is most certainly not. Her niece Marion has but she is fringe in the National Front. The Catholics found their man first in Fillon - the quintessentially Catholic, Gaullist candidate - and are now being courted by Macron, who also appeals to liberals and socialists as well with his agenda of breaking the partisan, party system of right and left. They will probably back him in the final, given Marine Le Pen’s visceral anticlericalism.

Macron’s reach is fairly wide. Le Pen has cast herself a much more restricted net which pays rich dividends in the first round, with her super-enthused base but has limited appeal in the final round.


Yes - Macron is a vociferous supporter of the EU, deeper European integration, free movement of people within the EU, the Schengen system of borderless travel within the bloc and the rights of immigrants/refugees. I heartily endorse all of his policies in this respect :wink: But I can see why those of a different political persuasion would retreat in horror from them.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that at this stage the final run-off looks set to be a race between Macron and Le Pen now that Fillon is plummeting in the polls after a scandal. Benoit Hamon is a radical socialist who wants to introduce “universal basic income” and tax robots, so I am convinced that he wouldn’t be your kind of candidate and he is too far left even for the French public outside his enthusiastic base to be seriously electable as a presidential candidate.

So no, I’m afraid it will probably be Le Pen vs Macron.


If you think that, than I think your crazy, I lock my car and have a locked door on my home, it’s not because I hate anyone, or because I have prejudices toward people, it’s because there are very real dangers out there, so it would be folly to leave my car unlocked with keys in the ignition or my door wide open.

Not to mention, just the sheer number. These are not people who all share a similar common Christian ethos, but rather an ethos that can be actually hostile to the Christian ethos which they are expected to integrate.

Should have been more focus on safe zones in the Middle East. They had Iraq, would have been the perfect opportunity when it came to the refugee crisis for a safe zone. :frowning:

If the US and Russia can together work to combat ISIS, I think that will make a considerable difference.

Now people like Merkel are doing silly things like banning the burqa and paying people to return to their home Countries. It’s one thing to ban the full face burqa with the eye slit because obviously that’s inappropriate and in many cases wrong, but there is also an alternative such as the ordinary burqa which allows the face to be seen for identification, but nevertheless, this is part of their religion, if they tried to ban something with Catholicism, I would just take it underground, I would not follow such a law, not to mention, they are a democratic Country, once they have millions of these people, I wonder what the next election will be like? If we think the US was a rough election with big divides, we haven’t seen nothing yet.

Well, it doesn’t look good for either, but having to choose, I would lean toward Le Pen, but I would expect a tougher stance against abortion, and I would have to be very, very, very desperate to place a vote for her if I were French.

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Why, thank you :smiley:


Phew, isn’t anyone else suffering from election season burnout yet? :eek:


:slight_smile: Not trying to have a shot or anything, but yea, I thinks it’s crazy, because if Angela Merkel in Germany (Who you didn’t vote for and can’t vote for) decides to do something silly and admit dangerous people into her Country, they then have free movement within the EU to travel to your Country, so you can’t do anything to stop them, how is that sovereignty? essentially you suffer the consequences of policy enacted by Angela Merkel who you could not vote for or against, you have no say in who comes into your Country and under what conditions, that’s the same as saying you have no say as to who enters your home and under what conditions.

And since Australia is tied to the UK (I would vote no to the referendum which they pushed here in Australia which would break our ties with the monarchy) but if the UK voted to remain in the EU, I would change my vote on that in a heartbeat.

I think Nigel Farage is spot on in some of what he says (Not necessarily how he argues in the EU sometimes, they could be a bit more charitable I think, but nevertheless, his arguments are right) I guess the way he argues sometimes helps him be heard.

Thank goodness the UK voted to leave the EU.

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Imagine what it’s going to be like in places such as Germany? The divide I think will be large and very hostile toward one another. Hopefully it’s not too bad and goes okay though. :frowning:

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That’s not how it works.

People granted refugee status in an EU member state can acquire the right to move to other EU countries so long as they have been living in their host country “legally and continuously” for five years. First, they need to be recognised as refugees in their home country. That’s not a given.

However the UK is not a party to this agreement: we decided not to be covered by this law because we opted-out from Schengen. They would need to become full-fledged citizens to have a right of movement to the UK.

The UK also does not accept asylum applications from abroad.

It is nigh impossible for me to say how many migrants are asylum seekers, and of this number how many will ultimately be granted refugee status. In other words, its intensely complicated and reporters skirt over this when they conflate “migrants”, “immigrants”, “asylum seekers” and “refugees” as if they were one homogenous great blob.

External movement of persons into the EU should be distinguished from internal movement of EU citizens within Schengen and the customs union. I support the latter but believe that we need to place reasonable limits for security upon the former but without losing sight of our humanitarian obligations to desperate refugees who come to our shores fleeing war and seeking basic necessities.

Macron’s position is not greatly different. He wants to beef up Frontex and make the external borders of the EU more secure, as do I:

**Macron said that, in order to counter illegal immigration, European states must reinforce controls at external borders, have a common asylum policy managed from the countries of origin, and a joint intelligence policy.

“I don’t propose an ideological policy in terms of immigration, but one that would be efficient, clear and carried out with our European partners,” he said. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Kevin Liffey)**

So you misunderstand both his position and mine. He only commends Merkel for her humanitarian sentiment not prudence.

We both want to help desperate people but we are aware that there are limits to how many we can receive based upon our resources. What we want is a stronger European border security - at the supranational level to make the entire continent safer, rather than the chaos of different nations deciding different nationalization regimes while having no internal borders with other EU nations. That’s silly.

This predicament has never been desired or designed by the EU. It has come about rather from resistance by the Member States to relinquishing their own particular citizenship regimes, while wanting to retain the benefits of free movement for European workers. You cannot have your cake and eat it. Either you go the full-hog and cede sovereign power to the EU to beef up its own pan-European border control and have one single continent-wide asylum and intelligence policy or you chuck freedom of movement and lose the benefits.

So the fault here lies with the nations, not the European Union.

essentially you suffer the consequences of policy enacted by Angela Merkel who you could not vote for or against, you have no say in who comes into your Country and under what conditions, that’s the same as saying you have no say as to who enters your home and under what conditions.

Not true.

But yes, Merkel should have consulted the other EU Member States before making that decision. The fault here lies with a generous and open-hearted but practically imprudent decision by a nation-state, not the supranational institutions of the EU.

Had the decision been delegated to the EU, you would have seen a more orderly flow of people rather than a flood of human misery.

Macron has repeatedly stated that “Europe must become sovereign” to handle common security threats and secure the common, external border rather than leave it to nation-states that can take radically divergent decisions that could, not instantaneously but cumulatively, have ramifications for the rest of the Union.

The problem you present needs more Europe, in the form of a common policy on immigration, border security and asylum applications, not less Europe.


So your saying the answer to this is to give more power to the UN? To hand over sovereignty of your Country even further to people you cannot vote in or out? :ehh:

The German people voted for Merkel, Merkel should be free to do as she pleases, if she succeeds, the German people will share in that success as they shared in her election and if she fails, the German people will likewise share in said failure because they shared in her election, and it is just since it was the German people who elected her.

The UN should be a place where European Countries can dialogue and cooperate with one another on certain issues, not a place where European Countries hand over their sovereignty to a UN entity for the so called ‘greater good’.

Thank goodness for Brexit.

These are my thoughts with the information I have.

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Ah Freudian slip…UN?

On a side note I support Vouthan fully in what he said. It’s not a question of handing sovereignty over - in each EU state, Parliaments and governments rule, but when you develop collective policies on free movement of goods and mutual cooperation (which is the essence of what the EU is about) then there has to be some governance about how this works. And we do vote for members of the EU, and has Brexit has shown any country can come and go as it pleases.


Josh, I never mentioned anything about the UN :nope:

I assume you must be referring to the EU and so will proceed on that basis (correct me if wrong).

To hand over sovereignty of your Country even further to people you cannot vote in or out? :ehh:

This is a common misconception about the EU, from people who aren’t actually well-informed about its constitutional structure.

Every EU institution is ultimately accountable to the electorates of the Member States, only in different ways both directly and indirectly (by means of our own elected national governments in the intergovernmental institutions).

We are not being “governed” without representation. The Commission, the primary executive branch of the EU, has British representation through the presence of a British commissioner in the ‘cabinet’ who is appointed by the UK government. The President of the European Commission, who chairs the meetings of this executive ‘cabinet’ comprised of Commissioners appointed by every EU state, is appointed by the Member States as a collective body through the European Council and must come from the party that has won either a majority or the largest share of the vote in the latest elections to the European Parliament. In that sense his appointment to the post is no different to a Prime Minister leading the largest party in a Westminister-style constitution.

The European Court of Justice includes British judges; Theresa May sits at the negotiating table of the European Council with the other Heads of State and of the EU institutions; our government ministers meet to discuss, amend and adopt laws, and coordinate policies via the Council of the European Union, the chief upper legislative house of the Union (distinct from the former) and British voters directly elect MEPs to the European Parliament.

The EU is a voluntary politico-economic union, not an empire.

If the Member States don’t like something about the Union or want to scale back its power, they can change it if consensus is agreed between them. In this respect, EU law is supreme over national law but only under the competences that the Member States have decided already to confer upon it as a group. And when it comes to granting the EU new powers through a treaty change, any member state can veto the proposals. The unanimity principle, which means that a measure will fail to pass if one Member State blocks it, still exists for Accession Treaties, Treaty amendments, appointments to the Commission and changes to the Community’s revenue-raising power.

And if a Member State really doesn’t agree, then they can simply opt to withdraw from the EU entirely as Britain has decided - since the EU is a voluntary political-economic Union.

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