A leftist French parliamentarian, rep. of the Martinique, makes much more sense than the “conservative” Huntsman in a recent speech:
“Until now I have supported all bill and commitments of the Left. But there is, today, a deep confusion that gets in the way for me. The freedom of conscience allows me to speak honestly from abroad (Martinique) to the issues for the people of this chamber, whose opinions are diverse. Speaking for French citizens abroad, on the whole, we are opposed to homosexual marriage. The bill proposed would bring down all the structures, values, and understandings that have held together the social world of our archipelago.
This voice of the French overseas must be heard and taken into account. I must speak to the electorate and rectify their confusion about what is happening here and now. The risk here is tremendous, that the government might cause an irreparable rift. The proposed bill does notoffer supplementary liberties in truth. In fact, the proposed bill weakens the already delicate social framework that has bulwarked the Antillean and Anguillan islands in the wake of our liberation from slavery. I will go further: there is even the risk here that the bill would invalidate the pact that has tied us to the Republic of France for 200 years and more.
This idea of homosexual marriage calls for, on my part, very deep reflection. Let us first distinguish clearly between the issue of homosexuality and the issue of gay marriage. To conflate the two, as some orators have done in this chamber, is dishonest. Homosexuality is a practice, something done in the privacy of one’s home, and of course we must acknowledge it and offer legal protection to those who do this in their private life. On the other hand, gay marriage and gay adoption lift up into the public sphere an idea that would overturn the whole system of norms, and replace them with new norms regarding descent, child-rearing, and procreation.
This is where we must draw the line.
Can we speak of freedom and progress? How? When we are essentially forcing a juridical framework for marriage in place of one that formerly existed naturally? It existed, before, in light of a man and a woman who could sire a child. To confer gay marriages means to replace procreative marriage for marriage based on feeling. The child is no longer the focal point of marriage, and the people outside of the marriage might have a desire for a child, it doesn’t matter if they are even married.
So let’s see what this means. Marriage is now a sentimental concept open to anyone, straight or gay, male or female. This will bring the risk of losing the fundamental value of our society. We would be imposing hedonist individualism to replace our earlier vision of personhood based on solidarity, equality, liberty, and fraternity.
The family, which has been the constitutive unit since the our founding, since the Revolution, since the emancipation from slavery — will explode in the literal sense of the word. Our charge is great standing before history. As for me, a man born to an oppressed people, reduced to slavery, in which the social system denied a man and a woman the right to marry and have a legitimate child — marriage was forbidden! — I bear witness here to the fact that freedom comes from recognizing difference and not in pretending that sameness is equal to difference.”