The National Organization for Marriage has found the perfect spokespeople for its cause: gay people who oppose gay marriage. The only catch: They're French.
NOM has posted a couple videos on its website from a French group called Homovox which features gay men who are against a proposed marriage equality and adoption law introduced by President François Hollande. Other groups include "Plus Gay Sans Mariage" (Gayer Without Marriage), run by a young activist named Xavier Bongibault who also appears in one of Homovox's videos. The videos feature gay men talking about why they oppose gay marriage.
NOM doesn't identify where the videos came from on its blog, and they've been uploaded into NOM's YouTube account. Homovox didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
On its blog, NOM — which suffered a rough election year, with gay marriage measures being adopted in a number of states — has been following the fight over gay marriage in France closely, with multiple posts on the subject per week. Unlike in the United States, where opposition to gay marriage has been based on the conservative Christian right, in France some of those opposed are secularists who view the institution as overly traditional or religious. Marriage overall is on the decline in France, and civil unions are on the rise among both heterosexual and same-sex couples.
In the U.S., LGBT opposition to gay marriage is much less visible; marriage has been a key cause of the gay rights movement since the early 1990s.
France is the unlikely battleground where some American social conservatives are looking to the next marriage fight. NOM and Robert Oscar Lopez, an "ex-gay" writer who has written negatively of his experiences being raised by two mothers, have written laudatory stories about the gay anti-gay marriage movement in France. So has Maggie Gallagher, one of the marquee anti-gay marriage figures in the U.S.
Lopez wrote on January 6 that France's "gays are better than ours" and that "What's great about the arguments from Jean-Marc, Jean-Pier, Philippe Arino, and Xavier is their ability to think outside the stilted identity politics that plagues American sexual discourse."
In November, Lopez praised France for its "frankness" in the gay marriage debate: "It seems to me that if Americans debated gay marriage with the same frankness about the true core issue – children – then traditionalists would be getting more traction."
Gallagher wrote on Thursday that "In France, a popular rebellion against the socialist party’s attempt to impose gay marriage is emerging. Culturally and intellectually speaking, one of the most extraordinary developments is the emergence of gay voices against gay marriage."
Though the marriage bill has been controversial in France — recent polls show that opposition to it has grown in the last two months — it's expected to pass.
h/t Joe My God
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.