My Gay Paris: Sarkozy and the issue of gay marriage

At first, it seemed like gay marriage would be not a central topic of the upcoming presidential campaign. Indeed, the stances of each major political party are well-known. The main challenger of Nicolas Sarkozy, the socialist candidate François Hollande, supports gay marriage and adoption, even if during the primary, he seemed not confident that the reform would be easy to do. He later clarified his stance and fully supported the quick implementation of the reform if elected to the presidency.

The right-wing UMP is not in favor of further gay rights. Not much has been done for the right of the gay community during M. Sarkozy’s term. But a few weeks ago, things could have been changing. Indeed, the newspaper Libération revealed that the president was now in favor of gay marriage and that he would defend that opinion during the campaign. But the president’s party and officials then dismissed that idea. Being in favor of gay marriage would be against a significant proportion of the party base. But some party members, MPs and ministers, mostly younger, defend gay marriage. One right-wing MP recently came out, and is now the only officially gay MP. Nicolas Sarkozy, during his successful 2007 campaign, promised a civil union for gay people which would have given them the same rights as straight married couples. That has never happened. Nicolas Sarkozy recently said in an interview that he was totally opposed to the redefinition of marriage.

Not surprisingly, Marine Le Pen, the extreme-right candidate, is against gay marriage and adoption but, in an interview she gave to gay magazine Têtu, says she is not opposed to civil union such as the one already in place (the Pacs). François Bayrou, the centrist candidate, has a somewhat compliated approach of the subject. He favors adoption, but he is against gay marriage as such, which he doesn’t want to be called marriage, but civil union.

The current campaign is a lot about the economy and the financial situation. But still, the issue of gay marriage and adoption is an important subject for a lot of people, especially in gay Paris, and that could influence their vote.

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