MEANWHILE, IN BREST
By Simon M
I don’t know if you guys have heard, but France is in the middle of passing a marriage equality law. And since France’s national past time is expressing emotions through the form of protest and demonstrations (well, after those violent revolutions, anyway), there have been massive demonstrations all over France, both for and against. I say in “the middle of passing” instead of “hearing a bill on” because marriage equality was one of newly elected French President Francois Hollande’s big campaign promises and if he backs down on based on a minority public opinion (31% against last I checked), then there’s going to be some non-peaceful protesting in the aftermath (think White Night Riots, but with instagram).
Last weekend was the final push for the public to declare support for marriage equality before the government starts to structure the law, which is why you may have seen the 400,000-person march in Paris or Solidarity in Argentina and Montreal. You probably didn’t see the protest in Brest, though. You might not even know where Brest is. And to be fair, I didn’t really know anything beyond the title of the Genet novel before going there. But I’m here to tell you all about it! Brest itself isn’t exactly magical, but it is full of galettes (buckwheat flour crepes), cider, Seattle-like weather, and a small, tight-knit LGBT community that is coming together to take up space in public. The demonstration at Brest’s Hotel de Ville had approximately 300 people in all, lasted for two hours of speeches, and ended in the participants spelling out a large, human “OUI!” which has come to symbolize the coming together of LGBT associations in France who say “YES” to marriage equality. There were no counter-protestors, unless you count the heterosexual couple who was tying the knot at the same time of the protest inside of the Hotel de Ville which is more so just poor taste and bad timing. The law is expected to take a similar amount of time to pass of a bill in the United States. Probably with an equal amount of passive-aggressive name calling.
Explanation of attached photo: “We are so handsome (masculine plural), and so beautiful (feminine plural). Now imagine our children!” In France, since anti-marriage organizations are not allowed to make religious arguments based on religious scripture because of France’s secularism or “Laicite,” they can only claim that they are keeping “the children’s” best interest in mind. This sign mocks that sentiment.