I got super excited when I heard that France has become the 14th country to approve a law allowing gay marriage. And boy, that makes it the 9th marriage destination here in Europe! Ever since I moved to Belgium, I have often stalked the Town Hall; hoping to see another glorious gay marriage. The first wedding I saw here was a gay wedding. Two beautiful Belgian boys somewhere in their late twenties, dressed in white tuxedos, stepped out of a big limousine, and walked hand in hand to meet the gathered crowd. What brought a big grin to my face was the cheering and the hugging. It was like witnessing a dream, or being on a different planet.
Well, the current news of France made me think about Marseille, and its sun-baked beaches. It’s one of my favorite cities in France, and I’d do anything to get married on those culturally fused streets among African drums, costumes, catering, ceremonies & happy faces.
But the dream was broken when a tweet updated me about the anti-gay protests happening in Paris. I was surprised shocked. In a country where civil partnerships have been legal for over a decade, it seems strange that thousands of common men (I stress on common because thankfully in India, one only finds such hoodlums among the political parties) would choose to come to streets, cause violence, and openly protest on the passing of the bill. Apparently, there has also been an increase in homophobia in the recent past, and many gay men & women have been physically abused. Surreal.
It seems like the bill has aroused stronger opposition than expected. Apparently, the biggest protest that happened in Paris against the bill, attracted over 3.5 lakh people. And we’re talking about a city which has a population of only 22 lakhs.
The more I read about it, the more disoriented I feel. Men in their twenties, shouting slogans such as “Do not play with the rules of nature”. Elderly people who believe that children raised by heterosexual couples “live better” than homosexual couples. And that “this type of legislation will increase violence”. Education is apparently not a strong enough tool to enable a shift in the mindsets of people.
I wonder about the authenticity of the so called “developed” minds of the human race where in such gender based distinction that violates the principle of equality exists. The freedom to marry is a fundamental right. How sad it is to know that those who consider it their birth right to exercise this right, choose to deprive others! Just because the latter prefer partners of the same gender.
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