The very first post on this blog two (two!) years ago had to do with the then-recent passage of Pacte Civil de Solidarite in France. That law was passed as a way to confer legal status on gay relationships in that country, the way some states (Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Illinois, New hampshire, Hawaii, Delaware) here in the U.S. do through recognition of civil unions. But the law as passed in France had some interesting unintended consequences. From that long ago blog post:
Turns out, French heterosexuals have taken to civil unions in a way never anticipated by the lawmakers who intended to provide the legal protections (but mostly tax benefits) of marriage to gay couples without the, um, marriage. Civil unions are called “pactes civil de solidarite” in French, an oddly cold and sterile phrase from a language that usually makes things sound much more romantic and sexy. For example, my high school French teacher, the darkly handsome Monsieur Badeau, used to say to me (all the time) “Fermez la bouche!” To which I would respond, haltingly, “Je ne comprends pas!” and continue disrupting class with my non stop chatter. In French, it all sounded like witty, flirty banter but in English, it often ended up with me making a trip to the principal’s office.
Francois Hollande, has promised to legalize gay marriage, the French do not appear ready to embrace it the way they did pactes civil de solidarite. In fact, there was a mass rally in Paris on Sunday against the very idea, organized by the French comedian, Frigide Barjot (get it? Frigide Barjot? Brigitte Bardot/Frigide Barjot? Get it? The fact that the French might actually call this person a comedian is a travesty all its own, never mind the opposition to gay marriage).
As an American, I’m always amused when Europeans show themselves to be as narrow minded ignorant passionate about this issue as we are.
You can read more about France and the French in these posts: All I Ever Needed to Know About Love I Learned from a French Waiter, No More Grab Ass Around the Water Cooler (At Least, Not in France), and What is Wrong With the French?
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