Protest against gay marriage in France and elsewhere

Last Saturday, it seems that according to the police at least 70,000 people took to the streets in Paris while there were other demonstrations in the cities of Lyon, Toulouse and Marseille. The protests were against proposals to allow gay marriage.

Those on the streets of France included Catholic groups and other backers of traditional family rights and I read many wore pink in a cynical way because it is the colour gay people use to remember the colour Hitler used to recognise gay people so he could destroy them. It also seems many mayors are against the proposal to allow every person in France (and eventually on this planet) to marry people they love. And this in a country that allegedly separated state and church more than 200 years ago because of the corruption within both of them. Even the pope urged bishops to speak against gay marriage in civil law, although in a polite manner because he claims that gays are a threat to family (as if the pope and priests know much about starting a family). There were also a number of counter manifestations in support of equal rights for all humans. Amongst these groups were feminists who fight the same battle as gay people to be taken serious. These women were beaten up. (Even the Australian PM Julia Gillard recently showed her anger that politicians don't always take her serious because she is a woman.)

But not only in France, also in other countries protests increase against gay marriage and more in general against people who are different while before the financial crisis there was an increase in support for human rights for all people on this planet, including gay people. Some years ago, the socialist government in Spain introduced gay marriage while this is now questioned by the new conservative government from PM Rajoy of the conservative Popular Party (they also think about reversing abortion rights).

Also Scotland wants to introduce gay marriage but the Catholic Church is a strong advocate against equal rights for all people and thus opposes gay marriage. In England, a man won a legal case because he was demoted after making private remarks on his Facebook account against gay marriage (I agree with the court in this case because firstly he made his comments privately and secondly as long as people don't preach violence against members of society they are allowed to have an opinion as long as they have an open mind because then they can see the happiness it causes). Last year, a gay couple in the UK won their legal case against Christian hotel owners who didn't want them to share a room. In more extreme cases, hotel owners refuse a room even when it rains and it is bitterly cold, just as what hotel owners did to Maria and Jozef more than 2000 years ago.

But also outside Europe resistance against gay rights becomes more intense. In California gay marriage was introduced but later stopped because people voted against it. One person joked that if we wait until the older generation dies, the introduction of gay marriage will no longer be an issue. But when I saw pictures of the people protesting in France, I saw many younger couples with children thus it are not only older people.

In Uganda, people are arrested for being gay and sentenced to prison while Parliament tries to pass even stricter laws against homosexuality as "a Christmas gift" that may include the death penalty (did Jesus ever spoke about killing gay people?). The problem is that a number of (American) Churches send preachers (often so-called "cured" gay men) to spread hate against gay people in Africa in the name of God, in the meanwhile gaining power in those communities. Also in Jamaica, each year many gay people are killed while those who want to survive are forced into marriage.

And I do not have to mention many Muslim countries and their attitude towards gay people. In Iran, an evil country according to many Christians, gay people are treated in the same way as some Christians would treat gay people. It was a well known picture of two boys being hanged because they played a little with each other. Also in Iraq it is reported that violent attacks increase against gay people, and against those who are consider as too feminine.
The Rainbow flag, symbol of the gay community, a community that embraces those who want to accept them and thus the flag is a sign of diversity and inclusiveness, of hope and of yearning.

People who speak against gay marriage claim they do this to protect families and marriage. But is that not a contradiction? Gay people want to marry because they too want to show the whole world they love each other and if possible they want to start a family by adopting orphans. Gay people are also sons and daughters of parents, sometimes they are even parents themselves. They are also brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces. They too are part of families and loved by those families.

But so many families are destroyed because the hate spread by those who claim to protect families. The poison of hate against people who are different spread all over the world in the name of religion, even to regions that were tolerant in the past towards transgender people. For instance, in Uganda, laws against gay people were drafted during the colonial period. Although personally I don't see any advantage of marrying apart from social and financial advantages (indeed, many people marry to be better accepted within the community and because they gain financially from it), I think civil laws should be equal for everyone, including gay people. I don't understand the resistance many people have against opening marriage to everyone who wants to marry those they love. Some people claim that gays can live together via civil partnerships, but that means discrimination. On the other hand, I don't understand gay people who want to marry within a religious community that despises them, because it will only increase the hate towards them.

The BBC website quoted one protester in France saying that "A child needs a father and a mother, he needs the paternal and the maternal side and with this bill that might not be possible any more. That's the way it is and we can't go against nature.". Still, animal studies show homosexuality is universal and e.g. albatross studies showed that many chickens that lost their parents survived because gay couples fed them. Maybe that is the reason why homosexuality exist: to nurse orphans or children who are mistreated by their parents. Further, often gay people don't mind showing their paternal and maternal side, thus children can learn from them. But I realise that some people will never listen to these arguments. I also understand that paedophiles do the case no good because they abuse children (and I feel sorry for them because they have to live against their nature), although paedophiles also exist within straight communities and very often within religious organisations because here people have to hide their sexuality and thus use the most vulnerable amongst use: children. While openly gay people no longer need to prey on children.

But problems not only exist for gay people, also many straight people suffer from oppression by parents who do not really love their children as many children grow up differently from the expectation of the parents. I find it quite remarkable that it seems so many people don't understand how it feels "to fall in love with someone" and "they can't help it". Many people ask people who love someone "why that person?" but they can't explain. And thus I can't understand why people can't understand someone can fall in love with someone from his/her own sex. Those people who claim they know what love is, do they really not understand the notion of "falling in love" and "I can't help it"? Personally, I have difficulties falling in love as in general I am too rational. But I can understand it because I recognise it with others, the glitter in their eyes and how it changes them for the better (or sometimes for the worse if it doesn't work out as they hoped it would).

Yesterday I read about a father who was killed by his family together with his two children while his wife was injured. Their crime? They felt in love with each other and married against the will of their families. And these families decided these people had to die because they didn't agree with an arranged marriage. It is the same as for many gay people: one shall not obey nature. The Indian High Court even speaks in favour of the death penalty for honour killings. I think whether the treat of the death penalty is sometimes really the only solution to change people's behaviour in order to save other people's life?

Unbelievable that after decades of human rights progress, it sometimes seems we start moving in reverse. I can understand to some extend that in poorly developed countries where people can't read and think for themselves because of their struggle to survive, people are vulnerable for hate propaganda. But how can the ignorance still exist in developed countries and how can it still be that the hate is spread by people from developed countries (although that is because they want power over people)? Over the past years people met gay people and noticed these are often nice people although some of them are unpleasant as you have in each community. Did many of those who oppose equal rights for every human being really didn't learn from their experience meeting gay people? We have eaten from the apple of knowledge of good and evil, therefore, do some people really not question the behaviour of some religious people who raped children or protected the abusers but blame others?

People should remember that restrictions for one group of people often leads to restrictions for other groups although that doesn't mean people can behave as they prefer and cause harm to others (one shall not do to others what one does not want others do to them). As I mentioned above, the government in Spain also wants to restrict abortion while in another Catholic country, i.e. Ireland, people marched on the streets begging to allow abortion in certain circumstances after a 31 year old woman died because the law refused abortion to save her life (thus the pro-life movement caused death). Or people can't marry outside their own community.

Remember, those who hate gay people often hate other people such as those who have no religion or who have another religion or belong to another subgroup within their own religion, even when the people of the other group hates the same people they hate.

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