Beyond the News
This week was marked by the first same-sex marriage in France. The country has recently approved a new law legalizing gay union, an action that has strongly impacted on the way how French society (and perhaps global as well) envision the future.
Nevertheless, France faced in the first semester of this year violent protests against gay marriage. The main argument of people who do not agree with homosexual relationship is that it is destroying family’s values. Others base their answers on religious ground while some simply eject anger out of their hearts without even knowing why.
I do not expect that everyone on earth will always have the same opinion; actually, if this was the case the world would be quite boring, right? For me, different points of view help us to grow and evolve as human-beings, so we should be promoting debates as much as we can. Nevertheless, it seems like that our society as a whole cannot put together a debate without using their fists, bombs and stones.
I remember back in 2008 while covering the Olympic Torch relay in Canberra, Australia, that there were several people protesting against the Games in China and the Chinese supremacy over Tibet. The demonstration started quite peaceful, but as the event was taking place, things became a bit violent. I did not see actually physical aggressions (thank to the local police that managed all incidents well), but the way how Chinese people and Tibet protesters were talking to each other was outrageous. It was clear that their words in that context would not make any difference, although the Free-Tibet demonstration was sending a message to the world that the Chinese sovereignty over Dalai Lama’s homeland was infringing human-rights.
Going back to the same-sex marriage discussion, I believe that both parties could have much healthier debates if there was a bit more of rationality and commonsense between them, especially from those who are burning cars and beating people on the streets. We are talking about humans who share the same streets, footpaths, buses, trains, restaurants, etc; different to what occur in Tibet.
On one hand, the gay community needs to understand that to be acceptable by conservatives is a long term process. They will not change their minds over the night, so it is necessary to give them some time to take all in; and perhaps respect is something that they will not see initially.
On the other hand, anti same-sex marriage protesters should really think about their family principles before bringing to the streets violent demonstrations that will not add anything positive to the case. Eventually, they are seen as ignorant and intolerant group of people who cannot and do not want to respect others, throwing into the garbage bin the main principles of French Revolution: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
Now it is time to concentrate on the collateral effects caused by the changes that the society worldwide is going through with the growth of gay community. Either we respect each other sexual orientation or we will head toward a divided society. Is it what those who defend the family institution want? Is this what Pope and other religious want? Is this what homosexuals want? Is this what the government wants?