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'French Elle' Comes Out For Marriage Equality

FrenchElleAs the French people clash over whether or not same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and adopt, French Elle has come out on the side of full rights.

Their latest issue's cover, featuring two of the most beautiful brides in the land, declares: "Marriage For All."

In her editor's letter, found via The Cut, editorial director Valerie Toranian notes that unlike other countries, where the debate is divided down predictable lines, the French conversation has been marked by an often contradictory and intersecting array of interests, ideologies and cultural beliefs.

This debate is not primarily between old and modern, right and left, homophobes and progressives: there are gay, pro-marriage Catholics,  left- and right-leaning psychologists fiercely attached to the symbolism of gender difference as a necessity for any potential child. There are feminists who advocate for IVF for lesbians, but who oppose surrogate mothers for gays because they denounce the commodification of women's bodies.

And it's this swirling fondue of emotion that makes the debate such a strenuous one, and also helps explain why French citizens are more supportive of military action in Mali than marriage equality.

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  1. Elle is not so positive about equality, in fact the word is not even used more than one time :

    Posted by: Fabien | Jan 17, 2013 12:29:40 PM

  2. I don't understand your obsession with that Mali tidbit. French support for marriage equality has been stable around 60% for the past six months. That the Mali intervention get higher ratings only means it is very popular, not that marriage equality is unpopular as you make it sound.
    Also, the most controversial parts in the discussion have been the adoption and procreation parts which is what the Church's rhetoric has been focused on to mask the fact they have no arguments against gay marriage itself. For some reason, French have been more uncomfortable with gay parenting (although as this interesting article points out, it has to do with their love for philosophical debates, in this case about gender differences) but even that is an even proposition (things like 48% support) and not an adamant opposition.
    And finally, none of this matters since in the French institutions, the political dynamic (aka strict partisan loyalty in Parliament) means it will pass, regardless of whether it is unpopular or not.

    Posted by: nhuixnhuix | Jan 17, 2013 12:30:53 PM

  3. "beautiful brides in the land"? "swirling fondue"? Andy's style of relatively objective presentation of information, and letting readers editorialize for themselves, is lost when others are standing in for him. Just the facts please! This kind of poor figurative speech weakens the message.

    Posted by: Wil | Jan 17, 2013 12:35:14 PM

  4. At first I thought that they were models, but that cannot be the case with the one on the left.

    If you don't like Belonsky's writing, don't read the articles.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 17, 2013 12:43:30 PM

  5. "There are feminists who advocate for IVF for lesbians, but who oppose surrogate mothers for gays because they denounce the commodification of women’s bodies."

    And there you are, guys. As I have always said, feminists (including the vast majority of lesbians) are strictly about empowering women at the expense of men, including gay men, and they clearly see the idea of two men marrying and having children as being a threat to women's social power, which relies entirely on their keeping men emotionally, sexually, and socially dependent on them.

    So please stop kidding yourselves about feminists and women in general. Their only use for gay men is as props and underlings, and they expect you to know your (inferior) place and stay in it. Expect true equality for gay men--which implies the kind of independence for men from women that women are terrified by--and, as in this instance, you see how they react.


    Posted by: Rick | Jan 17, 2013 1:00:47 PM

  6. Focus, people - the issue is France, the birth place of modern democracy, engaging in regressive "separate but equal" kind of bigotry.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Jan 17, 2013 1:11:31 PM

  7. Shut up Rick. You're foaming at the mouth, AGAIN, and it's messing up the carpet.

    Posted by: G.I. Joe | Jan 17, 2013 2:34:33 PM

  8. Same sex Love and the Path to Wholeness (

    Lesbian Relationship Archetypes
    Page 94-95

    “Return to the Source”
    In the first archetypal patter of same-sex love between women involves the return of the lovers to the Source through a kind of participation mystique that echoes the original mother-daughter bond.

    “Reunion with the Lost Sister Self”
    In the second pattern, a woman experience a reunion with her lost sister-self and begins to heal the virgin-whore split of the feminine archetype in patriarchal culture.

    “Remembering My Whole Self: Twinning”
    In the third pattern, a woman remembers her deep Self, consummating a procreative union with her twin and brining forth into the world the creative-spirit child birth from this deep union.

    “World as Lover, World as Self”
    In the fourth archetypal pattern, a woman’s bond with the ‘Sophia/Wisdom Archetype’ is renewed, and the boundaries that separate her heart into tiny chambers and keep her from seeing the tiny diamonds at the source of all life are dissolved.

    In all four patterns, a woman in love with another woman is re-creating and re-forming her self and their world. Without the alignment of all four patterns, this all embracing partnership is not possible.

    My deepest hope is that this offering of insight will help break the silence of women loving women and initiative a deeper speaking of the truth that will inform and inspire a reformation of psychological theory and practice

    Posted by: I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff | Jan 17, 2013 3:35:06 PM


    As much as it may distress you to discover this, recreation of the human species is impossible without SPERM, which women are incapable of producing.

    That's right--you are nothing without men, in this as in every other sphere of life.

    Posted by: Rick | Jan 17, 2013 4:18:31 PM

  10. I like to put tampons up my bum and pretend i have a delicate vagina.

    Posted by: Rick | Jan 17, 2013 4:26:12 PM

  11. Hi Paul, that's a bit tough when the bylines are at the end. Though I can usually tell when someone other than Andy has written a post by the telltale typos and florid language.

    Posted by: Wil | Jan 17, 2013 5:15:49 PM

  12. The world of aashion has been running with faux lesbianism for so long that that cover photo means absolutely nothing.

    Posted by: Latebrosus | Jan 17, 2013 5:34:46 PM

  13. WIL or whatever other name he/she goes by (sounds like Jason) is angry and has some chip on their shoulder. For reasons we don't know. Constantly whining about this writer. It's getting so old.

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 17, 2013 5:58:35 PM

  14. Those models look like aliens and are showing about as much tenderness towards each other as to toothpicks.

    Posted by: james | Jan 17, 2013 6:04:51 PM

  15. No chip on my shoulder, and no anger either. Just a longtime reader of this blog who doesn't want to see it go downhill. And I'm not the only one. Check out the Manti post for a number of complaints about confusing, meandering writing. We're simply trying to suggest that the site maintain its reputation for quality content. If we wanted anything less there are plenty of poorly written blogs out there.

    Posted by: Wil | Jan 17, 2013 6:40:15 PM

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