Adam Lis, Columnist
The year is 2012 and one could say that we have come a long way with the same-sex marriage epidemic. According to Procon.org, as of May 2012, gay marriage was legalized in eight U.S. states (MA, CT, IA, VT, NH, NY, WA — effective June 7, 2012, and MD — effective Jan. 1, 2013) and the District of Columbia. This is an advancement, yet 31 states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.
Unfortunately not all countries are as accepting as the United States. France, like states in the U.S. where gay marriage is illegal, has city streets filled with protestors much like the Westboro Baptist Church armed with signs of hatred, intolerance and ignorance. Reading my daily dose of Vice Magazine, I came across an article on the issue of same-sex marriage in France and how the protestors look at the idea of same-sex marriage in a secular way, especially for its potential influence on children.
Similar to some states in the U.S., civil unions are currently legal in France, but adoption and succession rights are non-existent. The French Republic was founded on the ideas of equality and a French concept called laicite—the complete absence of religion in governmental affairs. This means political discourse in France must be entirely free of religious rhetoric.
Instead of throwing out the same old cliches that most protestors would, such as “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and “One man one woman,” the protestors of France believe that same-sex marriage leads to ridiculed lives and harassment of the children sprung from these families. In a sense, anti-gay protesters in the U.S. have the advantage of using their religion as a supposed unquestionable justification for their intolerant philosophy. The protesters in France do not have this luxury as they are forced to adopt a facade of secularism.
So from a sociological standpoint, the world can only gain tolerance by influencing individuals to be more accepting. When looking at the concept of same-sex marriage we have to think somewhat liberally; would you have a child grow up with no parents or in a foster home rather than be with same-sex partners who will love the child unconditionally?