France: Marriage puts a nation asunder

23 April 2013 – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt)

On April 23, France became the ninth European state to extend marriage and adoption rights to homosexual couples. However, unlike other countries, the measures provoked fierce hostility from sections of the public. A German newspaper tries to explain why.

In truth, he wanted to reconcile the French with each other. At least, that’s what François Hollande promised in his election campaign. Instead, in his first year in office he has already pitted his countrymen against each other with the “marriage for all” and fanned once again what the historian Emile Poulat has christened the “War of the Two Frances”.

Since France, the “eldest daughter of the Church”, first separated religion from schools in 1882, and then from the state in 1905, the dispute between those who justify this “secularism” in the name of “progress” and “modernity” and those who see it as an attack on the God-given and established social order, smoulders on.

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Translated from the German by Anton Baer

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