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France: A majority of French people would like a referendum on equal marriage

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  1. Rights should not be voted on. They should be enacted into law by the government. Was a woman’s right to vote decided by referendum in France? Let’s see… no.

    1. Interesting how the more rightwing that voters lean the more they want the right to decide other peoples rights.

    2. Do you think that the USA would have abolished slavery in the 1860s if a referendum was held in the south?

  2. Nice one, mainstream media. Repeat a statistic from a rightwing rag nobody gives a s*** about until it’s firmly embedded in the collective unconscious. You can always be relied on to legitimise and roll out the red carpet for bigoted views.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jan 2013, 1:10pm

      Exactly. The referendum applies only to the 86% of conservatives, not the electorate overall if 65% support equal marriage as reported. Even the Daily Mail conceded the majority in the UK support equal marriage, surprisingly.

      If 65% of the French people support it, then the government have every right to legislate and pass it. The job they’re supposed to do by the wishes of the people who put them in power. Ditto the UK where the figure in support is virtually identical.

  3. People want a referendum for everything if you ask them. So no big deal here.

    However, the French Republic will not deny marriage equality because the Socialists have a majority in the Assemblée nationale and the Sénat… And because its the right thing to do.

  4. The socialist party were quite clear they were going to bring in same sex marriage and adoption for same sex couples in their election manifesto. It wasn’t hidden away and they boldly announced it in all their weekly, even daily TV ads prior to the election. The socialst won fair and square, got elected on this promise and the UMP (which is in total dsarray at the moment) got thoroughly booted out. No referendum is needed, they just had an election and this issue was part of it.

  5. GingerlyColors 5 Jan 2013, 7:07am

    The opinion of many correspondents is that rights should not be voted on but I think that the issue should be put to a referendum as a vote in favour of same-sex marriages is a foregone conclusion. Interestingly the far right seem to be more in favour of a referendum than the left who traditionally support gay rights.

    1. “interestingly the far right seem to be more in favour of a referendum than the left who traditionally support gay rights.”
      Why’s that interesting? Of course the far right would rather have a referendum on it than allow it to pass without having their opposition heard.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jan 2013, 1:15pm

      I don’t think you’d like it if abortion were put to a referendum and it turned out that you could no longer get an abortion. Mob rule on social issues is not about democracy at all. It’s pandering to fear mongering. What if 86% of British Tories wanted homosexuality recriminalised, put it to a referendum and passed it? Be very careful what you wish for.

      1. GingerlyColors 5 Jan 2013, 5:00pm

        Fortunately we no longer live in an age when most people, including the Tories want to see homosexuality recriminalised. The French decriminalised homosexuality long before the rest of Europe did and now they have registered partnerships (Pact de Solidarite). I will be surprised if most French people still oppose same-sex marriages which have successfully been introduced in several neighbouring countries. There may not be much difference between having 51% saying yes and 49% saying no to same sex marriage and 49% saying yes and 51% saying no, but in a referendum it still makes a world of difference and therefore the rights of a minority should not have to go to a referendum. It would be nice though, if we knew that most people are happy for us to enjoy the same right to marriage as everybody else.

    3. Tim Hopkins 5 Jan 2013, 1:57pm

      The reason opponents of equal marriage are calling for a referendum here and in France is that they think they can raise a lot more money than supporters can, and so outspend us enormously on advertising during the referendum campaign. Equal marriage campaigners spent millions of dollars on their campaigns in each of the four US states that voted on the issue in November, and won (they outspent opponents). Those states have populations a 10th of France or of England & Wales. Could we raise millions or here?

      And if you think advertising doesn’t make a difference, listen to Barack Obama, who said in his speech last summer accepting the Democratic nomination for presidential candidate, that in US politics, “the truth gets buried under an avalanche of money and advertising”.

      Just one reason why it is wrong to put the equal rights of a minority to a referendum – there are others of course.

      1. GingerlyColors 5 Jan 2013, 5:14pm

        Perhaps those who oppose us should try putting their money where their mouths are.

        1. Tim Hopkins 5 Jan 2013, 6:03pm

          As someone else has already said, be careful what you wish for. Brian Souter (owner of Stagecoach buses etc, and a very socially conservative Christian) spent between £1 and 2 million on a campaign to try to stop the repeal of section 28 in Scotland in 2000. He failed, but we had months of a horrible homophobic advertising campaign – nastly billboards all over Scotland, etc. And a private national “referendum” financed by him personally.

          1. That There Other David 7 Jan 2013, 6:01pm

            Shame he can’t run a sodding railway so effectively isn’t it?

    4. GingerlyColors 5 Jan 2013, 5:12pm

      I understand that many people here oppose putting the rights of a minority to a referendum but opinion polls in France has consistantly shown a majority support for same-sex marriage in France over the past five years.
      The current law in France which allows for registered partnerships (PACS) is discriminatory and not only same-sex marriages performed outside France are not recognized, if a French man marries a Dutch man under Dutch law, the French man would forfeit his French nationality (although he will have Dutch citizenship). If a French woman marries a Dutch man (or French man marries a Dutch woman) then the French spouse does not lose French nationality.

      1. bobbleobble 7 Jan 2013, 3:47pm

        They consistently showed that Proposition 8 would fail too. It’s not about what the outcome would be anyway, it’s about the symbolism of putting rights up in a referendum. Even if we were guaranteed a win with 100% of the vote I would still argue against a referendum because people’s rights should not be put to a vote.

  6. I echo most others’ sentiments here.
    A minority’s status shouldn’t be subjected to the majority’s opinion. If it had, females still wouldn’t have the vote. As most men of their time opposed it.

  7. It´s not acceptable to allow homopfobes and bigots to decide about the gay rights and specially their marriage. Everyone has the right to love and marry anyone they want. Your human rights depend only on if you are a man or a woman.

  8. Jock S. Trap 5 Jan 2013, 11:14am

    So when did basic Human Rights issues become a referendum issue? Oh yeah when it involves the LGBTQI community.


    Who I am is not up for debate and Never should be. When will people learn?

  9. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jan 2013, 1:06pm

    Having referenda on rights is a slippery slope to mob rule, the tyranny of the majority over the minority. If that’s the view of 86% of the French conservative electorate, not the overwhelming majority of the French people from what I’m reading, then they should also consider referenda on everything, not just cherry pick this or that just because they don’t like something which in this case, really has NOTHING to do with them if they happen to be heterosexual. Nobody is stopping them from marrying and I don’t see how two people of the same gender marrying affects the marriages of heteros and other relationships they may form. let’s face facts, religion is in the mix here, fomented by the roman cult of course.

    If they want referenda, then one might as well abolish legislatures. What’s the point of having elected representatives if what they vote on doesn’t sit well with those in opposition. What next, anarchy?

    1. Jock S. Trap 5 Jan 2013, 3:30pm

      It all sounds very familiar to me, this is exactly what our own human right deniers in this country try to argue, bringing out polls to support their claims when in fact it was just a small group ask of those who are against anyway not the wider society.

      We see this from the Church of England etc… so no different. Just different groups of bigots try to get their own way on a minority.

  10. Robert in S. Kensington 5 Jan 2013, 1:18pm

    How would conservative religious nutters like it there was an overwhelming majority of the electorate calling for a referendum to ban religion? They’d be the first to oppose it wouldn’t they?

    1. GingerlyColors 5 Jan 2013, 5:27pm

      In Switzerland they govern by what many call ‘direct democracy’. They have an average of four referendums a year on major issues. In order to call a referendum campaigners have to collect 100,000 signatures (in a population of 8,000,000). A recent controversial referendum saw voters vote 55% in favour of a ban on the building of minarets on mosques in the country. A little over half the electorate turned out for that referendum and although the Swiss Parliament officially opposed the minaret ban on religious freedom grounds they had to write the law into the statute books because of the referendum result.
      Switzerland was the first country in the world to introduce a same-sex union law by referendum.
      Whatever political system we have whether it is dictatorship, parliamentary system or direct democracy there will always be flaws and advantages and it is impossible to please everybody.

      1. Tim Hopkins 5 Jan 2013, 6:14pm

        We have the disadvantage here that we don’t have a constitution upholding minority rights against majority votes. State constitutions in some states in the US (eg Massachusetts, Connecticut) have already led to state supreme courts enforcing marriage equality. However, state constitutional protection in many US states is limited, because the constitution can in many be amended by a simply majority vote in a referendum. Eventually no doubt, the US Supreme Court will rule that the US constitution, which is much harder to amend, requires equal marriage, although maybe not for some time (just as it did for mixed-race marriage in 1967).

        Without such constitutional protections, allowing a 50% + 1 majority to take rights away from minorities is very dangerous, as I’m sure Muslims in Switzerland are well aware in the light of your example. I’d guess that no US state could get away with a ban on minarets; it would not be constitutionally permissable.

      2. Apart from anything else, as someone else has already pointed out, there has already been a vote in France on this issue – the last general election. Equal rights for LGBT people were in the winning party’s manifesto, therefore they’ve already been voted on. To call for a second vote is pure sour grapes.

  11. Pavlos Prince of Greece 5 Jan 2013, 7:48pm

    I suspect, absolutely majority of those, who wish a referendum, are very strong against same-sex marriage. Even 55% of Socialist voters wont this! I am very negative surprised, I must say …

  12. stephanie 5 Jan 2013, 8:38pm

    referendums dont give a true answer as a lot of people with an opinion cant be bothered to get off their fat arse and vote.

  13. stephanie 5 Jan 2013, 8:40pm

    referendums dont really work as a lot of people with an opinion cant be bothered to get off their fat arse and vote,

    1. GingerlyColors 6 Jan 2013, 6:56am

      Noi vote, no vote. The problem is that people who feel strongly about issues, one way or the other are the ones who do vote. Should we introduce compulsory voting like they do in Australia? I feel that would go against those who believe that as well as the right to vote people should also have the right not to vote as well. I always vote in elections as I feel that I owe it to the young men who died on the battlefields of both World Wars fighting for our freedom and they did not have any choice when their call-up papers landed on their doormats.

  14. Franck in Paris 5 Jan 2013, 8:46pm

    “Valeurs actuelles” which conducted this survey is a fully-owned subsidiary of Dassault Communications, owned by Serge Dassault, a 87-year-old politician and industrialist who recently said homosexuality was one of the reasons for ancient Greece’s “decadence” and that gay marriage would mean the end of the French nation. See

  15. Big danger here. If its a single item vote, and eg not a national vote for parliament………….
    the churches will run a very good get out the vote campaign

    While many other people, eg supportive / ok with marriage equality wont bother voting.

    It happened her in NC where a referendum went 60 to 40 for a constitutioanl ban on same sex marriage.

    Thats exactly what happened – bigots all riled up killed the deal because much of the supporters were not excited with it

    its the old problem that churches get an audience every sunday while the good people generally dont go to church.

    On a second note the Hate Group NOM from the USA isalso reported to be operating in Europe. Beware – its leadership is evangelical and catholic.

    (kind of like Sunni and shia but they cooperate re bigotry against other people

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