|A chapel for fishermen (click to enlarge)|
The stay is in a fancy resort area of France where relatives happened to live way before it became a famous resort area. Living is cool, for the rich, the casual visitor or the native still hanging there. They all go to the same market two days a week, carrying all their grocery bag as there is no more the "paper or plastic" dreadful question in France: you bring your bags now, almost everywhere. All mix, whether they come from the fancy villa hidden in the pine forest or the fisherman shack. There is something about relentless sand and pines and rain that brings up a notch humility in all.
Civility in France is a welcome relief from the unbending vulgarity here, one that this time around I appreciated more than ever. In Paris we saw Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet walk in front of us while we had diner at a brasserie. What is noteworthy here is that the woman is the top challenger for Paris mayor election next year and she was walking alone in a busy street, no one stopping here, no body guards accompanying her, and yet recognized. This is simply inconceivable in Venezuela where one year ago I saw Ismael Garcia attend the same pedicure as I do, accompanied with two body guards in a closed mall....
|The view from the altar|
It is to be noted that the law was officially promulgated a few days after my arrival. And promulgation meant that the Constitutional Council had validated it. What was the point in holding the Paris rally against a law that is now the law of the land and that cannot be reversed? Will they annul all the weddings that will take place between now and the hypothetical arrival to power of these people that want to overturn it?
The thing is that the parliamentary right, UMP, had decided to use the latent anti gay, homophobic sentiment of France to bolster its energy against the government of Francois Hollande. Duly supported by the Catholic Church of course. This tragic error has allowed the apparition and revival of a series of groupuscule that now do violent gay bashing and the like. I was listening to one of these characters explaining that he was protesting because he felt he was not consulted about the marriage for all reform, while being absolutely opposed to it. Does he realize his contradiction? Why should he be consulted since he is clear in his position? Was he planning to bring useful amendments? That sent me a shiver in my spine: the guy was a mere chavista. They are everywhere, from the Argentinean "piquetero" to the fundamentalist tea partier. And I did not know that there were that many of them in France still, in spite of the sweet living I enjoyed these days.
As for myself, when I see the lack of real condemnation from the UMP, the shameful attempt at gaining extremist vote at the expense of gay rights I must say that this swing voter is no more: I cannot see myself voting for the French democratic (?) right gain, and not only that, expect me campaigning against them. I predict that the cost for the UMP will be high even if today the crisis hides it in the current bad numbers of Hollande.