A wonderful speech by the French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, before the French National Assembly, immediately following yesterday’s final passage of legislation legalizing gay marriages in France.
Here’s the close of her speech, addressed to France’s gay and lesbian youth, who had to witness such hatred from the religious right, the Catholic church, and France’s opposition conservative party throughout the debate on the gay marriage bill. The quote below is via a wonderful translation done by Joseph McShea. You can read the rest of the speech here, and find the video of it below.
Tonight, we would especially like to speak to the adolescents in our country – boys and girls – who have been hurt during this debate. We speak to those children who found themselves in the midst of deep and frightening chaos. They discovered a society where a wave of selfishness led many to loudly protest against the rights of others.
We simply want to tell these adolescents that they are at home in our society.
We recognize them in this society. We recognize their contradictions, talents, shortcomings, qualities and fragility. These are the things that make each and every one of us unique. Regardless of any sexual issues, each one of us is unique. That is the strength of our society. It is even the basis of our society. It is the basis of our relationship to society. So we tell these adolescents: if you find yourself losing hope, sweep all of those thoughts out of your minds. They are only words. One day they will float away. Stay with us and keep your heads high. You have nothing to be ashamed of. We say that loud and clear, with our all the strength in our voices. As Nietzsche said: Truth kills. And if you repress it, it will kill you.
Thank you all.
No, thank you.