“A revealer of the evolution of the majority model”, for the sociologist Irène Théry

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the law opening up marriage to same-sex couples, the legal sociologist Irène Théry, director of studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, looks back on the path traveled since the violent debates around the civil solidarity pact (pacs) until the promulgation of marriage for all, on May 17, 2013.

How do you explain that the law on marriage for all has provoked such virulent debates and such mobilization of “anti”?

We must measure the difference between the debates on the PACS of 1997-1999 and those on marriage for all in 2012-2013. At the time of the PACS, there was really a division of France in two. With hindsight, we understand that it was linked to a major shake-up of traditional common norms, because we were witnessing the first appearance of a truly “inclusive” logic on the part of the LGBT+ movement.

Until then, s had claimed freedom, the pride of being oneself, and supported the great “coming out of the closet” by promoting above all a critical counter-culture of the bourgeois order. The change is largely linked to the AIDS epidemic which is decimating the gay population and driving the demand to no longer be forced to the margins.

Same-sex couple status had been refused twice by the Court of Cation. After violent and complicated legal debates, society confirms, for the first time in history, that two women or two men who love each other can also form a couple in the legal sense of the word. From then on, everything will change.

And thirteen years later?

In 2012, when marriage for all was announced, mentalities changed enormously. When François Hollande was elected President of the Republic, his promise to institute same-sex marriage did not spark any debate and, according to polls, 65% of French people were in favor of it. The violence will come from the unprecedented mobilization of the Catholic Church, organized parish by parish by La Manif pour tous, which provides buses, trains, branded T-shirts and blue and pink flags.

As paradoxical as it may seem, traditional Catholic families felt threatened and presented a minority of our fellow citizens claiming equal rights as a threat to humankind. Then appears the scarecrow of a supposed “gender theory” which continues to flourish today.

But if the Catholics were very visible, we must not forget that all the religions of the Book were radically opposed to this bill, including Islam. Protestants and liberal Jews were the only ones to open the debate.

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