The acrimony which some times filled our recent legislative and electoral debates about marriage equality seem tame compared to what happened in France, this past weekend.
100,000 Catholics demonstrated in the streets of several cities on Saturday and Sunday to oppose a proposed bill which would legalize marriage for lesbian and gay couples. The scene turned to violence in Paris on Sunday when a group of counter-protestors supporting marriage equality showed up dressed as topless nuns and spraying white powder from cans labeled “Sperm” on the first group of demonstrators.
According to the Associated Press report:
The controversial Ukrainian group Femen, whose topless members stage pranks to support gay rights, have taunted a march in Paris by Catholics who oppose France’s draft law to legalize gay marriage.
The Catholic group Civitas organized Sunday’s march by several thousand people carrying pro-family banners.
Several Femen activists turned up topless, chanted “in gay we trust” and sprayed white powder from bottles.
That prompted several anti-gay marriage protesters to hit the Femen members and push them to the ground.
On Saturday several thousand people took to the streets in cities across France to protest the draft law, which could see marriage and adoption legalized for homosexual couples early next year.
In my view, both groups share the blame. The Catholic protestors should not have resorted to violence. The supporters of marriage equality should not have been so religiously offensive, especially demeaning women religious, who, at least in the United States, have been in the forefront of Catholic support for LGBT people, and are currently paying the price for that support.
Both sides could have done better. Both should hang their heads low. Such displays do a disservice to the marriage equality debate.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry