• France's news in English

Hollande's u-turn shows 'disdain for lesbians'

Joshua Melvin · 4 Feb 2014, 12:38

Published: 04 Feb 2014 12:38 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Conservatives in France were heralding a victory on this week after President François Hollande’s administration announced it was delaying until at least 2015 a proposal to legalize "medically assisted procreation" (known as PMA in France) and surrogacy for same sex couples.

But, in the opposite corner, the decision has drawn harsh condemnation from gay and lesbian groups.

Rights group Inter-LGBT denounced the “major political cowardice of the government and the president,” according to a statement.

They went on to say Hollande’s government “doesn’t take responsibility for its commitments, from which it has pulled back with an incredible series of back peddling moves over the course of several months,” the statement said. “This umpteenth climb down illuminates the government’s disdain for all lesbians.”

Hollande’s administration announced on Monday it was postponing its plans to move ahead with legislation that would have legalized medically assisted procreation, like IVF, for lesbians, and tackled issues like surrogacy.

Left wing politicians also seized on the government’s about face as a great failure.

“The left has been deceived,” Far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Mélenchon told the AFP. “I call for elections that will inflict severe punishment on the government.”

Green party member and MP Noël Mamère also called out Hollande’s government for the delay.

“It looks a lot like capitulation in the face of demonstrations from France’s most reactionary people. It is truly a tragedy for the numerous families that were expecting reforms,” Namère told BFM TV. “To give in this way after demonstrations, it’s an expression on the part of the government of its fragility and vulnerability.”

The apparent climb-down came a day after tens of thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Paris and Lyon calling for the law to be dropped and denouncing Hollande for attacking traditional family values.

But goverment spokeswoman and Minister for Women's Rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem categorically denied the law was being put off because of a conservative backlash.

Story continues below…

"We would never push back this bill in light of a demonstration. We have delayed the examination of this bill because it was in fact not ready," she told France TV. "The hysteria around this bill, notably the demonstration (on Sunday) is based on fantasies and imaginary fears that have turned the debate hysterical."

Hollande’s government enraged conservatives by pushing through the legalisation of gay marriage last year. Debate over the law sparked intense and at times violent opposition and criticism from the powerful Catholic church.

Over 70,000 gay marriages have since taken place but it emerged on Tuesday that Vincent Boileau-Autinone, who along with his partner was the first gay couple to marry in France was sent death threats on Twitter after speaking out against the demonstrators on Sunday. Boileau-Autin said he has filed a formal complaint over the threats.  

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available