ONTD Political

Straight Male Politicians Kiss For Marriage Equality Amid Huge Protests In France

8:39 pm - 01/28/2013

A pair of French politicians made a touching statement in support of LGBT equality this weekend, as protesters geared up for Tuesday's parliamentary debate on the country's marriage equality bill.

Socialist (and straight) members of French parliament Yann Galut and Nicolas Bays shared a kiss as part of the "Marriage for All" protests on Sunday, as tens of thousands marched around the country in support of same-sex marriage and adoption rights, reports French paper Liberation.

"We’re both straight, we’re both married with children," Galut said, according to a translation by Gay Star News. "But today with the kiss of solidarity, it meant we, as parliamentary members who start fighting for same-sex marriage legislation in two days, we stand in solidarity with homosexuals."

A photo of the symbolic kiss has gone viral, with the pair's colleagues on both sides of the aisle weighing in, according to Gay Star, with comments ranging from "heroic" to "ridiculous and needlessly provocative."

Galut and Bays' Kodak moment may remind many of a similar photo, showing two straight French women kissing in front of a group of anti-gay protestors in Marseille, France in October. The two teenage women told French magazine Têtu that, while they are both straight, they wanted to take a stand.

"While we were kissing, [the protesters] were screaming, 'You're disgusting! You are not beautiful!" one of the women told Têtu.

Sunday's "Marriage for All" demonstrations were attended by an estimated 125,000, according to France 24. While polling numbers show that a majority of French support gay marriage, the government bill has galvanized anti-gay protesters who staged massive protests against it earlier this month. The bill would legalize same-sex marriage in France and afford full adoption rights for same-sex couples, according to CNN.

On Jan. 13, hundreds of thousands of protesters marched along Paris's Champ de Mars in opposition to gay marriage, according to Reuters. The demonstration drew from an eclectic base, including practicing Catholics, the extreme far-right Front National party and others.

poetic_pixie_13 29th-Jan-2013 04:34 am (UTC)
Caaaaaause it's not actually a brave or meaningful thing to do? (The fact that there aren't any out members of Parliament is in and of itself telling.)

In the gay utoipa~ of Canada, in the queer capital city of Toronto even, I don't always feel safe walking down the street holding my girl's hand. Two straight girls doing it while ostentatiously talking about how they're totally not gay doesn't mean jackshit. Once they let go of each other they go on with their lives. They can literally never have to think about that again, and even while they were holding hands they didn't have the history of queer bashing and violence that qt folks constantly have to remember.

I'm still worried about my girl and I being attacked, assaulted or worse, even when she and I aren't showing what is the simplest gesture of love and affection.
beetlebums 29th-Jan-2013 04:43 am (UTC)
I still don't understand how politicians aligning themselves to promote equality in a way that makes them accountable such a bad thing? Maybe it's the US+cynic in me but these quotes/videos/photos are making it harder for politicians to escape their flip flopping.

I'm sorry about you and your girlfriend, I don't experience that level of harassment, just the having lady parts ones, but if we all all over keep on these politicians with accountability, there's hope for us all and the future will hopefully facepalm us for being so slow :p.
poetic_pixie_13 29th-Jan-2013 04:57 am (UTC)
Stuff like this always seems like a token show of solidarity~

Like, there are tons of people I know how talk about how they totally accept queer people except they still throw around homophobic and transphobic slurs, use 'that's so gay' every other sentence, don't educate themselves at all about trans issues and just generally queer folks like we're token friends or accessories. Support doesn't mean anything unless you actually do something.

Which, yes, hopefully these two politicians will do something. But 125,000 people were at that protest, I'm sure a good chunk of them were queer and trans folks who've been fighting for this for years, why don't they get any of this attention? There are tons of queer men in France who kiss in public all the time, who do so without being surrounded by supporters and cameras and who can't right after say 'don't worry, we're straight.' That kiss, like me holding a girl's hand, is inherently unsafe for them and for us. To see two straight dudes being celebrated for doing something that's so commonplace in our lives and yet still can be dangerous... it kind of cheapens the bravery of qt people and how hard we have to fight just to be able to express our love.
beetlebums 29th-Jan-2013 05:04 am (UTC)
Maybe it has to do with their newness? I provided the transcripts further down the page, these men are brand new/coming back after a long hiatus to Parliament. The session starts, I think tomorrow with the time zone changes, with this being all over the news, it may propel the discussion even faster.
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