Straight Male Politicians Kiss For Marriage Equality Amid Huge Protests In France8:39 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.