Story Media Doesn't Want YOU to Know: Moral Modern French Revolution!

A brilliant story has the delegates at the 2013 World Conference of Families buzzing. I mentioned the French rally’s for marriage and family briefly in the first day’s report but I have some more detail that is absolutely fascinating and worth going into detail. As many of you may know, a gay marriage and adoption bill is being presented to French Parliament but the people took to the streets in protest in unprecedented numbers (1 million people marching Paris at EACH rally). In fact, these rallies are historic in that they are the largest in French history, and likely world history for this particular social issue. Maxime Lagorce, a young Frenchman I had the opportunity to speak with in between sessions, was a significant player in the French rallies in Paris and around the world. Lagorce gave several speeches on his experiences and one was titled, “The French Movement for Defending Marriage and Leadership in the 21st Century.” I hope my reporting does it justice, and more importantly, I hope Maxime’s morally courageous story of the La Manif Pour Tous (“Demonstration for All”) pro-family movement gets shared around the world. It is inspiring!



The organizers of these highly successful rallies in France, along with other French citizens around the world, were predominantly made up of young people. This is fascinating not only because they are young but also because they live in a relatively agnostic and secular country. When people heard about these pro-family movements around the world, they were shocked and couldn’t figure out why the French youth would be so passionate about marriage and the family unit. But this is proof that there is much “hope smiling brightly before us” with the rising French generation.



Why were these high school and university age youth the driving force for protesting gay marriage and gay adoption? The answer lies in the history of their parents. The May 1968 French “Sexual Revolution” created a generation of mass divorce, abortion, broken homes and families, euthanasia, drop in education and so forth. The young people of 2013 have experienced firsthand these negative social “freedoms” did to their families and home life. They were damaged by their parents’ and grandparents’ destructive social behaviors that they wanted to get rid of it. With the mass divorce, these children felt that they were the victims and needed to take action. They are taking a stand against the very things their parents fought for in the 1960’s.



How did the cause for marriage and family in France gain so much support and traction? Lagorce said that the movement was all carried out through the power of social media and people who were passionate about this cause. Here are a few things they did that made it so successful:

Social Media: Very low cost advertising and potential to go viral very quickly. Where we used to have to place ads in the newspaper or on television at great financial expense, they are able to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other French social media outlets to get the word for countless rallies and demonstrations of support very quickly to a lot of people. The “La Manif Pour Tous” Movement Facebook Page is highly successful and there are a lot of neat photos that inspire people to get involved.  https://www.facebook.com/LaManifPourTous?fref=ts



1.     They used creative ways to engage people. For instance, one movement included encouraging everyone to change their Wifi name to “No Gay Marriage”. Whenever neighbors would be searching for Wifi access or logging into their system, anyone who made this change would show up. Maxime said he changed his one night and the next day his neighbors all changed theirs. It created an underground resistance movement.








2.     They had a very easy to remember, non-religious slogan to reach all people across the board: “1 Father, 1 Mother = That’s Marriage”, “Father, Mother, Children, It’s Natural!” and also “La Manif Pour Tous which means The Demonstration for All” and this is a play on words for the pro-gay marriage side whose slogan is “Marriage for All”.








3.     Blogging. There is a huge network of Catholic bloggers around the world that are all organized under the “Catholicsphere” (a narrower version of the “blogosphere”).

4.     They made it cool to show their pro-family T-shirts, sweatshirts, bumper stickers, flags, banners etc.



5.     For people who were physically unable to come to Paris to march, they created the first ever E-march online. This was absolutely brilliant in that they used geo-localization with IP addresses to create a heat map of all those virtually attending the rally online (pictured below).





6.     They encouraged everyone to go viral fast and furious, with any updates or information on what was happening on the ground during the rallies. For instance, the media and police said there were only about 300,000 people (Only? That still seems huge!) at one of the rallies where they absolutely had over a million people total. Everyone was tweeting or Facebooking images to debunk this false information by the pro-gay marriage media.

7.     Technology Allows For Immediate Reactivity. Prime example: at one of the rallies (all peaceful mind you), police decided to take 70 people into custody. What did they immediately do? They tweeted photos of them in the police vans and posted pictures on Facebook asking for help. By the time they reached the police station, there were already supporters there. The supporters grew and within only two hours the police released all 70 people.



Another interesting thing happened with the police and the media manipulation. The photos they showed on the news were doctored to show far less people supporting the pro-family rally. However, as soon as these photos showed up on the news, people started submitting real time photos proving that not only did the media edited out tens of thousands of people, but they also photo shopped existing trees and lamps and parts of the boulevard, which automatically proved they were trying to cover up the real numbers at the rally.



One part of their rallies that was highly effective was their use of “flash mobs” using car parades. They would randomly pick and then list a certain street online for supporters to jump in their cars and drive down the street waving pro-family flags. Other rallies would be huge signs draped over the many bridges of Paris or in front of hotels or government buildings where members of Parliament are scheduled to visit. The La Manif Pour Tous movement call it the “welcoming committee”.


8.     Technology Supports Generosity. Not only were supporters able to donate money to the cause, but they were able to use social media to donate things and services to help make it easier for people able to attend the rallies. For instance, people living in Paris would offer accommodation for those who lived in the country and didn’t have the money for a hotel. Other people would offer carpooling to the rallies, while others would offer babysitting or meals. The kindness of strangers quickly turned these people into friends. That’s the beauty and generosity of the human spirit!



I know I wasn’t the only one at WCF who was touched by Maxime’s story and I hope that we can use these powerful tools for future rallies and events. I know there are great opportunities here for learning and implementation. I hope we can have more Maxime’s and La Manif Pour Tous movements around the world where gay marriage and adoption bills are coming into the picture.

Let’s share my new friend’s story with everyone and also remember it when we start hearing of whisperings of gay marriage bills (or other social issues) coming to our states and countries. Let’s act and follow the example of the French and this brilliant and successful movement.

Here is an inspiring short clip with footage from the rallies (it made me want to go to France to support them on May 26 for their next rally!) : v=cjumSgw6cDk

    
Here is the website. It’s a fantastic template for others who want to start movements in their   state or country:http://www.lamanifpourtous.fr/en/


Video: French Modern Moral Revolution
Over One Million Courageous People Took a Stand
for Marriage





Candlelight vigils every evening by high school and university students are held 24/7, with people taking turns supplying food, water and bathroom breaks. Thousands upon thousands of young people gathering each night to peacefully protest by singing, reading poems and lighting candles:




















Note: Thank you, Angela, for sharing this courageous story with us. How inspired we all are! It is clear why the media is not reporting on World Congress of Families. There's too many important things coming out of WCF to strengthen the cause of those who desire to stand up and say NO to so much of what is going on currently that is just wrong. It is not up to our politicians to manage our agency for us in order to have our voices heard on these things that matter most. If we expect to maintain our freedoms, as in the days of Captain Moroni, we, too, must hoist our own title of liberty, just as the French! 

Our job now.... is to begin sharing this information with others. We have a ton, more than most can digest, but as we break it down and help others know how to use it, we can begin, together, to take powerful action that will affect important change for the good! We begin by sharing hope.... and by sharing stories like this one, that the media didn't want us to hear about... until we did, just NOW!

tDMg
Kathryn Skaggs

Angela Fallentine reporting directly from The World Congress of Families conference, Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2013.

Photo/top: Christian Post
Photo source/slides: Angela Fallentine
Photo source: La Manif Pour Tous Facebook Page


25 comments:

  1. Wow is right.

    Of course, there were also some pretty impressive demonstrations in favour of slavery in the 1860s, and a hundred years later against the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and of course against women's suffrage in the 1920s. It's different with gays, they say; no matter that the same arguments - even citing the will of God - often featured prominently in those instances with just as fervent conviction.

    And in each instance, the tide of public opinion ultimately changed, be it against slavery, for civil rights for minorities or women, or whatever. Of course, laws ultimately bringing these protections came long before any sort of uniform support from all or at least a vast majority, but that was the beauty of it: the protection came either way. Not everyone had to like it, but the playing field was equal; those who had fought against it didn't lose anything, except their ability to make the minorities at issue care a lick about what they had to say.

    Like it or not in this case, and you don't have to, and I know you don't, but this is the inevitable cycle of history running its course, yet again. Indeed, Hollande has just signed the bill into law in France. These opinions shall not go away, nor need they, but no longer can they - the opinions of others - dictate the actions of everyone else, even those with opposing opinions. No one has been silenced; rather, all voices are being heard. To me, that's a pretty awesome WOW!

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    1. I don't know, Chase... I don't think we've ever seen anything quite like this before, nor motivated for these types of reasons; making the motivation for this rally unique and unlike any of that which you've mentioned. The sheer size alone is staggering, as well as how they organized is not matched anywhere in history. So "WOW" is impressive for these reasons alone.

      Another thing that I, personally, find so compelling about this movement, is the sheer numbers of youth who apparently are able to recognize the poor choices of their parents' and do not want to see more negative actions affecting the next generation; theirs. That, I think, is incredible! The normal pattern is that children tend to repeat patterns that they are raised with, as evidenced in my own family... My parents' divorced when I was ten and out of three of us, my two sisters have both been divorced more than once; I am the only one who determined differently. Again, "WOW"! Remember, we are talking a million+!

      I will agree, that this is cyclic in nature. However, this is unprecedented that a generation should turn to its own parents' and say NO in such large numbers as most of these cycles require generation(s) in order to fully experience the results of poor decisions made by previous generations.

      Bottom line, rarely are those responsible for making major decisions in society, in setting major things in motion and making sweeping changes, still living to see the fall out on future generations.

      These thoughts alone must cause one to pause, at least for a while, and seriously consider what these youth are upset about and why? It is wrong to ignore their cries and motivations to standup and speak out about something that has affected them so deeply, and to such a point that they would go to such great lengths to be heard and to want to stop something that they believe will continue the hurt into the next generation. I believe that is a legitimate cause to consider as valid, regardless of which side of the isle either of us sit.

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    2. Kathryn, I'm sorry, but your interpretation of this entire story doesn't make sense to me. I follow French media very closely; I lived in France and follow what happens there out of both interest and an effort to maintain fluency. The French media has been quick to report these stories; yet it goes without saying that the majority of French people - and especially youth - support marriage equality nonetheless. Yes, a million people is very impressive; it's also a drop in the bucket of the entire French population. Indeed, there are millions more French people who share this view who didn't participate, but the fact is, they remain in the minority according to every single measurement, including those conducted by more traditional, and even religious measures. So yes, good on these Frenchmen, including youth, for feeling comfortable to express themselves; but don't isolate their experience from the greater context in France and then in the next sentence try to say that it somehow redefines that greater context.

      You literally refer to those protesting here as "a generation". This paints a picture of the entire youth of France turning to their parents and saying no, yet in doing so, you apparently take for granted, or deliberately ignore that: 1) the youth of France support same-sex marriage in higher percentages than their parents; and 2) the older generations of France oppose same-sex marriage in higher percentages than their children. Why no mention of that?

      You can point to a large oppositional demonstration and focus on the youth in the protest and contrast their views to the views of adults who are supportive of same-sex marriage, but doing so means you're literally comparing the minority among youth to the minority among adults and then trying to draw a conclusion that defies the trends and patterns and statistics that are actually happening. That is totally fine! It's a fine anecdote, but that's what it is: an anecdote. So to then go on and evoke this ideas of a generation "turning against" its parents' "immoral" views and eliciting a feeling that at last the tide is about to turn seems either out-of-touch at best or dishonest at worst.

      The reality is that across the world, including in France, it's the majority of young people who are indeed standing up to past generations and saying "NO" in large numbers. That fact doesn't need to dismiss or discount the views of the minority - even a very sizeable one - who are protesting here, but I do think you owe it to your readers to present both sides of this more clearly.

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    3. Chase, certainly the French media, due to the sheer numbers, had to report these rallies, although accuracy has been proven to be a problem. However, the reporting abroad, as in here in the U.S., we only caught wind of the rally in Paris, and what I recall hearing was nothing like what Angela has reported. In fact, what I did hear was that it was mostly Muslims and other religious extremists that were marching and not the actual French people. So, the American media that did report it, sadly, were being fed inaccurate information.

      The beauty of what these French youth have accomplished, in my opinion, is that when anyone attempts to refer to their numbers as merely a “drop in the bucket” in any context, in order to minimize what they have done, they are actually validating that their message has made an impact and is being heard. As I’ve said before, standing up for what you value and believe, doesn’t always mean that you will get what you want. Rather, it often provides a space to reestablish what you feel was becoming lost among those whom you feel were taking it away; and that can be of great value within community.

      Nowhere have I mentioned any statistics. However, a million people are a powerful representation of mass amounts of children learning from their parents’ choices, then deciding to choose differently for themselves and their children; call it what you will…

      As far as presenting both sides of the story, I feel no obligation to do so, seeing as you’ve demonstrated in your comment, so well, how this little band of French, and others like them throughout the world, are in the minority and that as you say, “The reality is that across the world, including France, it’s the majority of young people who are indeed standing up to past generations and saying “NO” in large numbers.” Sadly, this is the natural cyclic pattern of the "natura man"...

      In other words, I am speaking up here for the minority who have little voice, and return to the reason for this miraculous post in the first place, which is to hopefully inspire others, and say to this incredible and courageous band of French youth and those who support their cause: WOW!

      I can't help it, Chase, I am a product of such parents' as these French youth, and have also experienced the same fallout. I know all too well the pain they have suffered and if I could I would march alongside of them at every rally! You know my passion that every child have a mom and a dad; it comes from my heart and is genuine.

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    4. Chase, I am Maxime Lagorce, I'm French and I'm the La Manif Pour Tous representative in Sydney. I'm sorry to have to tell you that you should be questionning a bit more what the medias (especially the French ones which you're saying you know very well) are telling you.
      Yes, a majority of the French people are for gay marriage when asked in isolation of adoption, which the medias have always been doing in the past few months. As you are aware the French bill includes both marriage and adoption as it can't be separated in French Law. Alliance Vita (one of La Manif Pour tous support association) asked Ifop (a renowned opinion poll company) to ask people about Marriage and adoption together, only 37% were in favour (that was in March and in April)and the majority were against.

      Then your comment on the 1 million people being a drop in the bucket of the entire French population is rather silly I'm sorry. Have you ever seen protests gathering half the population of any country in history? The French revolution probably came from a minority of people then. Whatever you say, these are the largest demonstrations in France history, this is it.

      Again, of course the word "generation" does not mean that ALL young French people are against it, maybe even not the majority of them. I still believe there are enough of them to be called a generation. While the French medias a few months back tried to make everyone believe the opposition on the "Mariage pour tous" bill was just from a bunch of old bigots, the movement is actually very young. And the Watchers (Les Veilleurs) are mostly young people and now gathering either each night or a few nights a week in more than 100 cities France. But the mainstream medias won't tell you about that.

      Cheers

      Max

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    5. Having a child is not a requirement for marriage, so asking the question of marriage and adoption together is foolish. However, I assume you ask them together because the right to marry includes the right to adoption, so you would argue that they have to go together. To that I say:

      1) In France, single people can adopt children, including single gay people. Many single gay people then raise these children with the same-sex partner. These children then regard both parents as their own. Denying legal adoption simply denies these children of legal protection. It does not stop same-sex couples from raising children. Refusing the legal protection - for whatever reason - only ends up hurting the children. Your entire arugment seems to focus on the children, yet isn't it interesting that the only children whose opinions you aren't asking are those children that actually live in families headed by same-sex couples. What do they have to say? I think we all know why you aren't reporting their stories; they disagree with you, vehemently.

      2) A law that is unconstitutional cannot stand even if 99% of a population is against it. That usually fails in practice, unfortunately, when a majority that high is against something. Of course, this will inevitably lead to a discussion of whether or not the right of same-sex couples to marry is or is not protected under the Constitution. All I will say on that is that thus far, those against the right of same-sex couples to marry have never been able to justify denying this right. If you can make such an argument that can withstand that scrutiny, I urge you to do so, because this "side" is failing in the courts.

      3) I agree that a million people is a lot. It's exceptional. It might be unprecedented. That doesn't make the cause constitutional, does it? Even if we leave the constitution out of it and focus solely on the legislative aspect, if the people of France do not like it, they can tell Hollande to va t'faire un oeuf the next time around.

      Finally, I never said that I think all those against same-sex couples' right to marry and adopt children are stupid bigots without ideas. I believe their ideas are based on a misguided understanding of gay people, but I don't think they're stupid.

      My point is that I believe this interpretation is on the verge of not being intellectually honest. You focus on the aspects you like and disregard those you don't, even within your own movement. For example, you focused tremendously on the extent to which young people are participating in the movement and using social media -- but I see no mention that you discussed the success of the #MortAuxGay movement? Why not? Especially since one can verify that for one's self?

      You would be more successful in reaching a wider audience by acknowledging and discussing thoughtfully the greater context, including - if not especially - the weaknesses on your own side. Otherwise, you are just preaching to your own choir, a choir that is getting smaller, whether you like it or not (e.g. you say 37% support marriage/adoption now, but I suspect 20 years ago, it would have been even lower. It may still be a minority, but it's a growing minority. That's not going to change with this kind of approach.)

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    6. One other thing, according to IFOP, 53% of French people support the right of same-sex couples to marry and adopt. You don't offer a source for your 37% figure, so perhaps you will have to explain why:

      1) The IFOP figure is biased.
      2) Your source - once you provide - is not biased, or at least not less so biased than the IFOP figure.

      Thanks. http://www.ifop.com/media/poll/2233-1-study_file.pdf

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    7. Hi Chase,

      Thanks for your reply.
      On the polls issue, it's all about the way the question is asked. Here's the link to the one I was quoting http://www.ifop.fr/media/poll/2198-1-study_file.pdf It was also proposing a civil union without the right to adopt as an alternative, which is why the result differs from yours. Anyway, it's the same opinion polls company as yours so don't be so suspicious.

      I am indeed against adoption by single persons (when we say a child should have a mum and a dad, we do mean it). This was allowed at times of war when there were many orphan children and many widows. In today's context, where the adoption possibilities are much more smaller (which is a good thing), I dont think the adoption by single people is relevant anymore. And, yes it is quite an hypocrit system as everybody knows many homosexual people use it while they are not really single.

      Regarding children raised in same-sex households, you may have heard stories, I've heard different ones on Internet or real life. There are such people in our movement too (e.g. Homovox.com) and some testify on stage during our demonstrations. I don't think you can say they all (not even the majority) disagree vehemently. And most so called "surveys" in that sense are based on very small samples and parents comments rather that children's. We just believe it's better for children to know where they come from, be raised by a mum and a dad and that these are not "substitutable". That's just the way life works anyway. Law and science are not here to compensate for any difference exiting in life (and don't mention sterile couples and IVF, they have a disease, not homosexual people). In many court cases relating to violence (e.g. Mohamed Merah in France, even though didn't make it to court) psychiatrists raise the issue of the father's absence during childhood. I don't think a second mum can replace a dad.

      Thanks for the advice but I think we are quite succesful in reaching a broad audience. You should rather admit that our "choir" is much bigger than you expected.

      Cheers

      Max

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    8. Wow, a lot of what you've just said is very deeply and personally offensive to me. I'm not sure if you know that, and quite honestly, I'm not sure that you care.

      Look: we all tell ourselves what we like to here, including you, including me.

      You offer many propositions in dismissing others even if you offer little support for them. You will no doubt find gay people against gay marriage and adoption (this is called an anecdote and you rely on many of them), but I have a hard time trying to imagine a world where the majority of gay people and the children raised by them agree with you. For if such a world existed, I imagine we'd all be hearing about it and this would be a non-issue. Otherwise, it must all be a conspiracy of a few, trying to gain legal rights and benefits for all those who don't have them and don't want them, and surely that's more believable... Fact is: we systematically ignore the majority opinion of the people these laws actually effect in a concrete way - not those who claim impact, but those who right now today do not have the same rights and privileges of everyone else - and I think that's telling.

      Honestly, though, I think this is enough for me and I won't comment further with you. Because it's not that we disagree on this issue; it's that we fundmanetally disagree on how to approach the challenges and diversity in our world. That you would rather a child sit in an orphanage than be adopted by a single person, on the principle that the child "should" be raised by two parents that clearly aren't present, well, that tells me you're valuing an ideology of how desperately you want the world to be rather than what it is. You wouldn't want the child to sit there in the oprhanage of course, but that's what would happen in the world you imagine. The world is a hard, difficult, and unfair place; what we wish could or should happen simply won't happen because we say we want it to. I used to think exactly as you do, and I myself had a hard time coming to a point in my life where I had to accept that things couldn't be the way I wanted them to be, but in that moment, you have a choice: do you make the best with what you have in a world where we are all free to make the decisions we like, or do we dig our heels in the ground and make life harder for those who aren't doing what we think they should or what we think is best?

      Fortunately (in my opinion), the trend favours the practical, even if less unromantic, approach.

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    9. Gentlemen, Maxime and Chase, I want to take a moment to say... thank you.

      Your conversation on this extremely sensitive issue has been very respectful, informative, deeply honest and enlightening for all of us; and most appreciated, first and foremost by me personally, and I'm certain I speak for many who read this blog as well; which I can assure you, in particular, on this controversial post, are many.

      I feel fortunate to have two well-informed, intelligent voices able and willing to come together and for our benefit help us to understand the broad issue before us, with its many complex facets.

      I will be the first to acknowledge that we do not have all the answers to every particular, especially in the areas of adoption, and in particular when it comes to older children sitting in orphanages and no one willing to adopt them. Just the other day, someone posed the question: Where are all the heterosexual couples willing to adopt these children? I will confess, it has caused me to ponder...

      I stand with the doctrine taught in the Family Proclamation, that every child is entitled to a mother and a father and that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe these are absolute truths and that God requires that we stand for these ideals in society to the best of our ability to ensure the greatest happiness for future generations.

      I sincerely believe that as we come together and are able to honestly share concerns, opinions, facts and honest feelings that over time, if willing to do these things with respect we will discontinue viewing each other as oppositional and perhaps find ways to actually build community amongst one another...

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  2. It's important to note that there's a lot more going on than shiny happy people peacefully protesting. From the NYT:

    " At the margins, the demonstrations have also become more violent and homophobic, with a series of nightly demonstrations last week around Parliament that resulted in clashes with riot police officers and a number of arrests. Even opposition leaders have bemoaned the way harder-right groups have infiltrated the demonstrations, and there has been a small surge in violence against gay men and lesbians, with some beatings and angry, offensive words on social media.

    Two weeks ago, a Dutch-born man walking with his partner in Paris was beaten up. The man, Wilfred de Bruijn, posted a photograph of his bloodied face on his Facebook page, calling it “the face of Homophobia.” It has been shared thousands of times. Last week, two gay bars, in Bordeaux and Lille, were attacked, and a same-sex couple was attacked Saturday in Nice outside a gay nightclub.

    Some protesters against gay marriage have started calling their movement “the French spring,” and many demonstrators are tying their actions to a generalized anger at Mr. Hollande, whose ratings in the polls continue to fall below previous record lows in a period of economic stagnation and growing unemployment."

    This is part of a complicated political situation in France, about much more than marriage rights, and it's encouraging some ugly bigotry and violent anti-gay impulses that Latter-day Saints cannot celebrate.

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    1. Kristine, I would very much appreciate having a link with this comment, therefore I am going to request that in order to keep this comment published, that you provide one as soon as possible. I'd like my readers to be able to hear from those 'in the know' the responses to this report, which I am not familiar with and of course find horrific. Sadly, whenever large numbers are gathered, even when a peaceful outcome is the desire, unfortunately there is always the 'few' that will inevitably do something to reflect poorly on the whole.

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    2. See link and replies in comment below. Thanks Kristine.

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    3. Hi Kristine, I am the La Manif Pour tous representative in Sydney.
      La Manif Pour tous movement has always been clear that we are a non violent and tolerant movement. This is why some homosexual associations (against this bill) did join our movement (homovox.com , Plus Gay sans Mariage) and felt welcome.

      If you knew more about France than what the NYT tells you, you'd be amazed that 1 million people demonstrations did not end up with any shop window or car broken. Last week, a soccer celebration with a few hundred people ended up in a riot close to the Eiffel tower (but the NYT probably didn't report that). Despite some provocations, no violence towards LGBT activists occured in our demonstrations.

      Now, in such massive gatherings, there will always be people willing to come just to have a bit of an adreline rush provoquing police. Le Printemps Francais (French Spring) are on that transgressive philosophy, which is why they've been excluded from La Manif Pour Tous.

      Now, the so-called "homophobic attack", always a useful one from the LGBT lobby to shut any opponent mouth up. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of attacks on individuals each day in France. Sometimes, it happens that the victim is gay. Whether the attack happened because of that, it hasn't been proven yet. Still, La Manif Pour tous have condemned that attack very firmly. i wish LGBT associations did the same when our protesters (families with children) get assaulted by LGBT activists insulting them or throwing all sorts of things at them. One of our gay leaders, Xavier Bongibault, also got glasses broken upon his face in a gay bar. Didn't hear any word from LGBT associations, again.

      Don't get me wrong, there might be a minimal minority of right wing extremists and homophobic people coming to the demonstrations. But this is not a reason for the majority of us to shut our mouth like the medias and their intelectual terrorism would like to. But the LGBT activists and demonstrations are way more violent and openly agressive in their slogans towards us. Intolerance is on their side, definitely.

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  3. Oh, sorry--here's the link:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/world/europe/in-france-opposition-to-same-sex-marriage-bill-grows.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    And yes, it's on the fringes of the movement, for sure. (I'll remind you of that next time feminists are getting blamed for Andrea Dworkin ;))

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    1. Let's make that link live (more convenient), as I think it's an adequate resource for this post, in helping readers to get a better understanding of the overall conversation in regard to this issue; particularly the comments:

      Protests Against Same-Sex Marriage Bill Intensify in France

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    2. Just jumping in here really quick Kathryn, that NY Times article is one sided and inaccurate. It states incorrectly that "The numbers on Sunday were down considerably from the 300,000 who marched last month. 300,000? Nope. NYTimes is wrong. The previous marches were 1 million and 1.5 million. I have to say that this is biased and inaccurate reporting (purposefully I might add) by the NY Times. See where the pro-family, pro-Christian side gets so frustrated with the elite liberal media? They are reporting on police photos which were tampered with (the La Manif Pour Tous has proof of this). Just one example of many around the world, I would imagine. The same issue happened in D.C. with the March for Marriage. The crowds were significantly higher than what was being reported--on purpose.

      I could go on and pick apart this article but I won't do it on this space. I would put a strong caveat that if reading this, to look at is a prime example of biased reporting. They have isolated a few incidents by a few extremists to show that we an unsavory and unsympathetic group opposing who are homophobic (afraid of gays?) and hateful. I'm not surprised coming from the NYT, naturally, but am continuously frustrated with the demonizing of those who have moral and religious belief. Tolerance is very once sided in this issue. Conformity and submission is what these types of articles and comments are encouraging. Demonize those who believe differently seems to be the norm, unfortunately, and respectful dialogue has been lost in the guise of anonymity.

      Many of the comments are anti-Christian and anti-traditional family (commentary lists those who oppose the bill as "anti gay", "homophobic", "hateful" and "bigots"). There are a few good ones that stand up for our beliefs, and I choose to focus on those. As one commenter rightly said, "The NY Timesstandards of impartiality have degraded so much now that this article passes editorial review. Sad to see French culture famous for it's celebration of the love between men and women bullied so easily by cliques leveraging the government."

      One comment stood out: "I saw no violence whatsoever last week in the Manif Pour Tous demonstrations in Paris. To the contrary, they were very peaceful. On the other hand, the homosexual supporters were throwing things from their windows and yelling ugly slurs repeatedly. Also, there were a number of young people in the protests and of both sexes and of all races. The fact of the matter is that many people are very hesitant about allowing children to be adopted by law into a gay union. The protests are not at all about keeping gay people from loving each other. Nor are they about hate or anger. Many, many people are very concerned about how society views marriage and family and the right of each child to be raised by a mother and father is not old fashioned or ugly. It is a fundamental of our human race. "

      Just as an FYI, I received the following directly from one of the organizers in the movement an hour ago:

      "Historically, even these types of promulgated bills were withdrawn after being promulgated. The Le Manif Pour Tous movement has always been very non violent. However, I wouldn't be surprised if a few isolated people wanted to take it to the next level if the bill asses. Le Printemps Fran├žais (the French Spring) people are more on that transgressive line."

      They are frustrated and dismayed at this situation. Millions who are standing up to fight for traditional marriage and families are being blindsided by a rushed bill that only a small minority will take part in. Just as what happened in NZ. It's an undemocratic process and civilization is being forced to change as a result. That's the way so many of us feel, and there is more potential to create a deeper wedge between the two sides.

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    3. Angela, I don't understand. You ask us to think critically and be careful about how we read a NYTimes article, but you provide no support whatsoever to back up your claims.

      For example, you quote the following: "'The numbers on Sunday were down considerably from the 300,000 who marched last month.' 300,000? Nope. NYTimes is wrong. The previous marches were 1 million and 1.5 million."

      Why? Why is it wrong? How do we know? How do you know the numbers of the previous marches? Is it just because you like the higher numbers more? I have no idea, because you criticize the NYTimes of deliberately misleading people, yet all you do is throw out a number that for all intents and purposes could be as biased as the number you say the NYTimes picked and toss it out like it's fact. How can we trust that your sources, if you have them, are any more accurate? How do we know that those reporting the 1.5 million figure don't have just as much reason to be biased as the NYTimes allegedly does for reporting 300,000?

      As for NZ, can you tell us how that law was undemocratic? That's how a republic works: we elect people who vote for us. The Kiwis voted for representatives in elections that no one has ever accused of being unfair or undemocratic and those elected representatives passed this bill. If the people of NZ feel their elected representatives did not vote for them, they can decline to elect them next time and repeal the law. That's not undemocratic; rather, it's how democracy works.

      Finally, you will find mean and disparaging things said on both sides. Gay people will say mean things to religious people, and vice versa. We'd all do better to ask why our respective side has people saying these hurtful things than to simply try to dismiss and marginialize the hate coming from our side while trying to underscore the hate coming from the other side. It's not productive and it's not convincing.

      Both sides believe they have the moral highground, so rather than try to one-up each other, let's just have a conversation without the marginilzation, without the conspiracy theories, and with more empathy and understanding. I'm tired of being referred to as an immoral, elitist, liberal, leftist ____ (it gets worse). And I imagine you're tired of being referred to as a bigoted, hateful, ignorant, intolerant ___ (it gets worse). So let's stop it and listen and offer sincere arguments that provide real data and facts and which take into account the views of the other side and explain them, rather than dismiss them.

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  4. Kathryn, excellent, ground-breaking post. Well done.

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  5. Thanks for sharing, and shame on the American Media!

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  6. Having both a mother and a father matters. That's why I believe the heart and soul of the issues is and always should be focused on the children. Naturally there are children aren't being raised in the best environments, but most parents are doing the best they can and they love their children. I believe that the majority of people in the world still believe in marriage and the importance of a mother and a father together, it's intuitive and obvious:) While some may be swayed and pressured, MANY will continue to defend the natural family. I feel deeply optimistic about this. This is why so many of us resonate so strongly with La Manif Pour Tous in France. It is incredibly inspiring.

    As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe that families are more than just nice social institutions. They are infinitely and eternally more significant than perhaps we realize. Families created by a mother and a father and are central to our Creator's plan. He created us as men and women with very unique but complimentary roles and natures that create and raise children. My mother provided an example of womanhood and nurtured me, while my father showed me an example of fatherhood and protection. I know two women could never substitute my father. Neither could two men replace my mother. Both are so incredibly different and yet their relationship is very complimentary. This isn't by chance, it is by design. This goes beyond opinion polls, popular media, cultural fads or other new types of "marriages" that society creates and will try to continue to create.

    So we stand with the French in La Manif Pour Tous and thank them for reminding us of the power in numbers. It is inspiring!

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  7. I'm so glad you posted this today, after yesterday's coverage of the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade, which truthfully made me so blue. It's nice to know that there are good people out there trying to make a difference.

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