Former French President Sarkozy is “humiliated” by gay marriage

France’s right needs to decide who they want to be when they grow up.

Historically, France has not been the most religious of European states. And, generally speaking, it’s not a country that’s terribly tolerant of religion being injected into its politics.

What’s more, France’s “right” has never been terribly right-wing. Sure, they’ve got the racist, immigrant-and-gay-bashing National Front, but in terms of the mainstream right, France’s “conservatives” have often been compared to Democrats in the US, at least by my friends in France. (And the intent wasn’t to suggest that Democrats were on the right, but rather to suggest that France’s right wasn’t so right after all.)

Sadly, former (conservative) President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent remarks about gay marriage being “humiliating” is indicative of a larger lurch to the right by France’s (and Sarkozy’s) UMP party. Just as America’s Republican party teamed up with the religious right in an unholy alliance over thirty years ago, France’s UMP is attempting the same in 2014.

Former French president Sarkozy and wife #3, Carla Bruni. (Via Everett Collection / Shutterstock.comShutterstock)

Former French president Sarkozy and wife #3, Carla Bruni. (Via Everett Collection / Shutterstock.comShutterstock)

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday criticized his country’s same-sex marriage law during a prime-time interview.

Sarkozy told Laurent Delahousse of France 2 that he “detested” the way he feels his successor, François Hollande, and his Socialist government “forced” the same-sex marriage bill into law in 2013 as the Guardian reported. The thrice-married Sarkozy said he feels the statute is “humiliating families and humiliating people who love the family.”

Yes, Sarkozy loves the family so much, he’s defending his third: “Liberté, Égalité, Divorcé.”

You might recall that France recently legalized same-sex marriage. The main opponents were the Catholic Church, France’s own burgeoning religious right (which is in cahoots with, if not being directed by, America’s own fundamentalist gay-bashers), and Sarkozy’s UMP. It’s been a particularly vile campaign from the anti-gays, including an apparent call for violence by both the religious right and the Catholic church.

Even in God-fearing America, the Republican party would get a bit squeamish about its far-right allies calling for “blood” in the streets. But in France, where to-date the thumpers haven’t nearly the power they have in American politics, it’s a dangerous anti-secular precedent.

Liberté, Égalité, Divorcé. (Sarkozy, from the European People's Party.)

Marriage is between a man and three women. (Sarkozy, from the European People’s Party.)

It’s ironic that at a time when the Republican party in America is desperate to move away from its gay-, woman-, black-, Latino-, worker- hating past, the French right thinks “it’s morning in France” — and that the solution to the world’s woes, or at least the UMP’s, is to saddle up with a bunch of bigots.

Now that’s humiliating.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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