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Unpopular French President Nicolas Sarkozy Desperately Woos Les Gais

French president Nicolas Sarkozy is facing a tough re-election battle against socialist rival Francois Hollande, trailing in most polls by 8 to 16 percentage points.

LifeSiteNews reports that Sarkozy and Hollande have both spoken with gay French mag Têtu, and that Sarkozy appears to be making concessions toward gay marriage.

But what Sarkozy’s offering to the gays is almost insulting. He’d like to add a ceremonial aspect to the beginning of a PACS, a weak French civil union, so it feels like more of a marriage. Said Sarkozy:

“I am ready to propose—it would be a matter of a decree—that the marriage ceremony, for a homosexual PACS, be made a right… the ceremony would permit a true social acceptance [of same-sex unions].”

Sarkozy also recognized the legitimacy of different types of families: “A family can be one father-one mother, two fathers or two mothers. I think that it’s necessary to leave the situation as it is, in a somewhat unclear area, that we are not obligated to legislate everything, to vote for laws for everything.”

Hollande, for his part, has supported gay marriage on his platform all along, and told Têtu he’ll be pushing the issue in early 2013, should he win.

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    • Robert in NYC

      And this from a serial adulterer! No thanks, Sarkozy. Separate is never equal. Would he have PAC? Of course not, proof they’re not equal in any way shape or form.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard

      If you believe that a minority should be satisfied with something less than the rights you enjoy and feel entitled to…you’re a bigot.

      If you believe that minority is entitled to equal rights but you cannot bring yourself to say so because you’re worried about what people will think…you’re a coward.

      This is the case whether you’re president of France…or the United States.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC

      What is more worrisome is that there about 19% of French gay voters are suppporting that awful Marine Le Pen of the National Front party of racism. She is also against marriage equality. Doesn’t that remind you of something going on here in the U.S?

      Mar 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad

      @Robert in NYC: The French are very smart. Nothing worries me about them. They’ll be fine as long as they temper the number of Muslim fanatics they allow in. But they don’t need any advice from us, nor opinions.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveC

      PACS are allowed for opposite sex couples as well (and are proving very popular with straight couples as well.

      Effectively Sarkozy is offering, well, nothing.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC

      @SteveC: Yes, but straight couples can also marry. PACS are treated very differently than marriage and do not confer even half of the rights of civil marriage. Gay french couples can’t even adopt children under the PAC scheme, and that’s just one indicator.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • SteveC

      That’s what I meant – gay and straight couples can get PACsed but only straight couples can marry.

      So allowing the PACS ceremony to be jazzed up to look more like a wedding, is offering French same-sex couples, precisely nothing in terms of rights.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert in NYC

      @SteveC: That’s right, it offers them absolutely nothing. I find it quite insulting that he would even suggest it. What he’s doing is avoiding the marriage equality issue. When the French government opened PACS to both orientations it was merely done to tamper down the marriage equality issue for gays because straights could have them too. It’s so transparent and the majority of French gays won’t buy into this dumb trick of his.

      Mar 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hephaestion

      Au revoir Sarkozy!

      Mar 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Houston Bill

      No Mr. Sarkozy, we’re not buying it. Your government just last week defended the discriminatory nature of the PACS to the European Court of Human Rights last month. Instead of making proper changes. Your government roughed up LGBT protesters who were legally protesting in front of the Russian Embassy last year (I suspect because your government was trying to sell some military weapons/technology to them at the time). You had the chance to lead on equality, instead your government either sat on its’ hands or worked against equality.

      Mar 31, 2012 at 4:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Houston Bill

      @Robert in NYC: Its a real sad phenomenon in Europe. I lived there for years, and I can tell you that there are a LOT of LGBT Gays that support the far right in Europe (Vlams Blok in Belgium, List Pim Fortyn in the Netherlands, Le Pen in France, etc.).

      The argument presented to me was based upon fear of immigrant led violence and discrimination against Gays. Also, right wing politicians in Europe are generally much less homophobic than in the USA.

      From my viewpoint, I didn’t see immigration as a big deal (but I was an immigrant to Europe). I never felt threatened by immigrant violence. I do know it exists though.

      I think in France, the issue is also hurt by French policies, such as ghettoizing immigrant populations in banliues, as well as the fact that the immigrant population in some (but not all) of these Western Countries is generally not as integrated as in the USA. I think that breeds ignorance on both sides.

      Mar 31, 2012 at 5:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Torchwood

      The French are a bit like the Aussies in that the Civil unions are inferior to marriage in terms of tax benefits, insurance etc. Britain and New Zealand do offer strong civil unions, France is a bit behind

      Apr 3, 2012 at 6:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sasha

      Hollande said these will be legalized in August 2012 if Left wins majority at Assemblée Nationale next month. ;)

      May 7, 2012 at 1:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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