Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Aleteia: After the confirmation of the death sentence pronounced against Vincent Lambert by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Vincent Lambert’s mother (pictured above, with his lawyer) expressed her grief, her anger and her unwavering desire to save her son: “Far from despairing because of the decision, this 70-year-old woman who sparked the legal battle against the medical team and Rachel Lambert, is more than ever ready to fight,” said theJournal du Dimanche. For her, a possible withdrawal of the tubes that hydrate and feed the former nurse is euthanasia. This would not be helping him to die, it would be killing him. (…) ‘Vincent is not at the end of his life. If they start again, we will go to court again,’ she promises.”
Yahoo News (Reuters): France’s lower house of parliament passed a bill on Tuesday allowing patients near the end of their lives to stop medical treatment and request deep sedation until they die, a move that critics say is effectively a form of euthanasia.
Associated Press: France’s Parliament started debate Tuesday on a bill aimed at allowing doctors to keep terminally ill patients sedated until death comes, amid national debate about whether to legalize euthanasia.
Reporters Without Borders: As part a campaign called “Freedom of expression has no religion,” Reporters Without Borders is calling on leaders of all religions in France to sign its Declaration on Freedom of Expression.
BBC News: Blasphemy laws are being challenged in a new global campaign launched by a coalition of humanist organisations. The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) says that, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, the time is right for countries to abolish laws that protect religious sensibilities. But blasphemy laws nevertheless remain popular in many parts of the world.
Religion News Service: Most Americans who know about the deadly attack on the Paris headquarters of the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine say it’s OK that the weekly featured cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Jurist: France’s highest court [official website, in French] ruled Wednesday that a same-sex French-Moroccan couple may legally marry [press release, in French].
The Verge: The French government announced today a plan to hold web companies accountable for any extremist messages they may host, Bloomberg reports. French president Francois Hollande wants to introduce a law that would make companies like Google and Facebook”accomplices” in crimes of hate speech if users post content the government deems extremist.
Christian Today: Protests triggered by the latest Charlie Hebdo magazine cover have led to Catholic masses and activities being cancelled throughout Niger.
WorldWatch Monitor: At least five churches in southeastern Niger were ransacked and burned down Friday by hundreds of Islamist demonstrators angered by a cartoon published by the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Public Discourse: The terrible massacre in Paris could be a “teachable” moment on the meaning of tolerance, but it will require soul searching by America’s cultural leftists.
The Guardian: France spent the weekend coming to terms with last week’s terror attacks in Paristhat left 17 dead. The country mourned, and global leaders joined an estimated 3.7 million people on its streets to march in a show of unity.
The Christian Institute: Free speech has to be for everyone if it is to mean anything, Nick Clegg has said, as he warned against “knee-jerk authoritarianism” in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France.
Public Discourse: In the wake of Islamist attacks, non-Muslims express concern and confusion not because they are indifferent, but because they are afraid. They want to understand. Muslims have an opportunity to embrace this opportunity for understanding.
The New York Times: The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.
National Review: In the U.K., a British public-television broadcast was accused of “hate speech” and was subject to a police investigation for reporting on radical Muslim preachers. Also in Britain, a congregation of an old Christian church, now surrounded by a new Muslim neighborhood, was convicted on a public-order offense for singing hymns on Sunday morning; the conviction was overturned late on appeal with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom.
RFI: “The 11 town councils won by France’s Front National (FN) in last week’s local elections are to refuse to serve no-pork menus in school canteens, party leader Marine Le Pen said on Friday. The far-right leader also accused a court of bias after it fined her for distributing a leaflet purporting to be from a left-wing rival in a by-election in 2012.”
Washington Post: “Their strength in numbers, however, cannot be ignored. Initially a reaction to a same-sex-marriage law passed last year, the movement has morphed into the most sustained mobilization of social conservatives here in more than a generation. A reinvigorated right delivered a devastating blow to Hollande in Sunday’s local elections across the country, prompting a humbled Hollande to reshuffle the French government on Monday. He replaced Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault with Interior Minister Manuel Valls, a politician considered more palatable by some on the right.”
Alexander Stille in The New Yorker: “Last month, marchers filled the streets of Paris and Lyon to protest same-sex marriage, which became legal in France last year. The day after the demonstrations, François Hollande’s Socialist government announced that it would not be putting forward new legislation to make it easier for gay couples to adopt children or have them with the help of surrogate mothers.”
Peter Berger at The American Interest: “I was particularly struck by the particular item that sparked this explosion of passionate feelings: It was not the legalization of same-sex marriage as such. Rather, it was the implication that legally married same-sex couples could now adopt children. Under French law, adoption is subsumed under marriage. In other words, the outrage was not triggered by whatever the adults of the same-sex couple would do with each other; rather it was with what they would do with their adopted children.”
Yahoo (AP): “Marine Le Pen, whose party is riding a wave of anti-immigration and anti-Muslim voter sentiment around Europe, says it will cut public funds to religious groups in towns where it wins municipal elections this month.”
Tim Stanley at The Telegraph: “Whatever you think of their message, the sentinelles prove that European orthodox (ie “not liberal”) Catholicism is far from dead. The anti-gay marriage protests came as a complete surprise because everyone assumed that secularism and liberalism had triumphed in the culture wars. In fact, there are a great many people out there for whom faith and tradition still matter. The silent vigil is, then, a profound statement. It’s a quiet reminder that not everyone got the memo about God being dead.”
Associated Press: “The head of the French military mission in Central African Republic says Christians who armed themselves to retaliate against brutal Muslim rebels have become ‘enemies of peace.’”
Reuters: “France’s Socialist government dropped plans on Monday to update family law this year after huge weekend protests by conservatives against gay-friendly reforms they say harm traditional families.”
Yahoo: “Over 100,000 conservative French marched through Paris and Lyon on Sunday accusing the government of ‘family-phobia’ for legalizing gay marriage and other planned policies they say will harm traditional families.”
RFI: “Pope Francis is expected to raise planned changes to French law on abortion and euthanasia when President François Hollande meets him at the Vatican on Friday. An improvised bomb went off near a French church in Rome overnight.”
France24: “French lawmakers voted late on Tuesday to amend the country’s abortion law to make it easier for women to terminate a pregnancy if she chooses to, despite opposition from the country’s more conservative political parties.”
Telegraph: “France’s parliament on Monday began debating a controversial new law on abortion which would end a requirement for women to prove they are in ‘distress’ to legally terminate a pregnancy.”
RFI: “A court in France ruled against the withdrawal of food and water from Vincent Lambert, a tetraplegic patient who has been in a state of minimal consciousness in hospital for five years, following a car accident.”
AP: A French court has convicted a woman for insulting police who ticketed her for wearing a face-covering Muslim veil, banned by French law.
AP: A bill that would decriminalize prostitutes and fine their customers passed France’s lower house of parliament on Wednesday by a wide margin.
Religion Clause Blog: Yesterday, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights heard oral arguments (video of full arguments) in S.A.S. v. France, (Application no. 43835/11). As described in a press release from the Court . . .
AP: France’s government is pushing one of Europe’s toughest laws against prostitution and sex trafficking, and other countries are watching closely.
PressTV.ir: The ECHR in Strasbourg, France, will hear on Wednesday arguments in the case of a French woman – known by the initials SAS – who claims that the ban violates her rights to freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and a prohibition against discrimination.
AP: France’s constitutional court has ruled that mayors cannot refuse to carry out same-sex marriages just because they oppose them.
Religion Clause Blog: AFP reports that in France, the Cour de Cassation, the country’s highest court, yesterday upheld the 2009 fraud conviction of two French affiliates of the Church of Scientology for manipulating two women into buying products or enrolling in courses.
UPI: A French court overturned an earlier ruling Friday that denied marriage between a gay Moroccan man and his French partner, citing contradictions in the law.
Religion Clause Blog: The United Nations Human Rights Committee, in a decision dated Sept. 26 and released last week has ruled (full text of decision in French) that France violated the religious freedom of a Sikh man by requiring that he remove his turban for his passport photo.
France24: A proposal by a French official to replace Christian national holidays with those based on Jewish and Muslim festivals has sparked controversy in the country.
BBC: Parliament in France has moved to ban child beauty pageants on the grounds that they promote the “hyper-sexualisation of minors.
RT.com: Leaders of France’s 6 million Muslims have been discouraged by the new ‘secularism charter’ designed to toughen rules banning religion from schools. Critics say it’s unsuitable for modern-day France, home to Europe’s largest Muslim population.
Religion Clause Blog: France’s Education Minister yesterday unveiled a new Secularism Charter designed to keep religion out of French schools.
Pravda: France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls said that there was a need to review the country’s migration policy in relation to Africans and questioned the compatibility of Islam and democracy.
Reason: The group, called IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), wants Twitter to give French authorities information on the users who used the hashtag. The hope is that those who used the hashtag will be prosecuted for violating France’s hate speech laws.
France24.com: A court in France’s western city of Nantes has granted the biological father of a lesbian couple’s child visiting rights, raising uneasy questions about how to share parental rights between gay partners and biological parents.
Reuters: France’s interior minister on Monday defended a ban on wearing full-face veils in public after a police check on a Muslim woman caused two nights of rioting near Paris, exposing tensions in immigrant-heavy suburbs.
Boston Globe (AP): The French like to make fun of the British, joking about their repressed ways in matters of the heart. But when it came time to debate same-sex marriage, it was France that betrayed a deep conservative streak in sometimes violent protests — while the British showed themselves to be modern and tolerant.
LA Times: Through his office window, Philippe Brillault can see the palace of Versailles, where Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were beset by an angry mob and forced to move to Paris in the beginning days of the French Revolution.
AP: French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was stripped of her European Parliament immunity Tuesday and may now face charges of racism over comments she made comparing Muslim street prayers to an occupation of French territory.
C-FAM: An international lawyer has filed complaints against France in the UN Human Rights Council for brutalizing peaceful demonstrators. Videos show French police beating marriage demonstrators, using tear gas and clubs against women, men, elderly and children.
France24.com: A gay couple are suing a mayor in the southwest of France for discrimination after he refused to marry them. The 60-year-old mayor, who faces up to five years in prison, said he would rather serve a jail sentence than marry two men.
Penna Dexter at Baptist Press: Robert Oscar Lopez is an associate professor — with tenure — of English and classics at California State University, Northridge. In a recent column at the Witherspoon Institute’s Public Discourse, he argues that those who insist legal same-sex marriage is inevitable are making a couple of fallacious assumptions. One is “that the increase in support for same sex marriage will be consistent over time rather than fickle.” The second is that same sex marriage is gaining support because people are becoming more enlightened about it, often from knowing someone who is gay.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: It is as foreseeable as it is unavoidable: a government that abuses its power to impose absurd and counter-natural laws such as on same-sex “marriages” will soon face massive protest. And given that such laws cannot be defended with rational arguments, those in power take recourse to violence and blatant human rights abuse.
Ken Connor at Townhall: When we gaze across the pond at our European cousins, the general assumption is that we’re looking at our future. From food and fashion to politics and culture, Europe is on the cutting edge – the avant garde. Depending on your ideological sympathies, this is either seen as a good thing or a bad thing.
Christian Institute: A French mayor is facing up to five years in prison and fine of up to £63,000 for declining to carry out a same-sex marriage. Jean-Michel Colo, a mayor in South West France, rejected a wedding application from two men and says he stands by his decision. But under French law, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation can be punishable by up to half a decade in prison and up to a €75,000 fine.
Religion Clause Blog: According to CNet News and JTA, in France yesterday the Paris Court of Appeal upheld a lower court order requiring Twitter to turn over to the Union of Jewish French Students (UEJF) and four human rights groups that brought suit the names of individuals who last October posted Tweets using anti-Semitic hashtags.
Robert Oscar Lopez at Public Discourse: After the French protests against same-sex marriage, we can no longer speak of redefined marriage as inevitable or enlightened.
Law and Religion UK: The Chamber of the ECtHR to which the application in S.A.S. v France (No. 43835/11) was assigned has relinquished jurisdiction to the Grand Chamber, neither party having objected to relinquishment.
AP: In a historic ceremony broadcast live on French television, the first gay couple to marry in France said “oui,” then sealed the deal with a lengthy and very public kiss.
Catholic Culture: Today, watching from this side of the Atlantic as hundreds of thousands of French citizens march in defense of marriage, I can’t help thinking that now they are building a movement, the like of which we haven’t seen here in the US.
The Independent: Earlier about 400,000 people, including many children, had defied warnings of possible far-right violence and marched in peaceful protest against France’s newly enacted law permitting same-sex marriage.
France24.com: French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said Thursday he is considering banning French Spring – a radical far right group opposed to the country’s legalisation of gay marriage. A major anti-gay marriage protest is set to take place in Paris on Sunday.
“Society should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it. That’s the belief of the people of France. This redefinition of marriage has been pushed through at great speed without their support. Millions have taken to the streets in protest, but the government has not responded by listening to the people. Instead, it has sought to silence them with police brutality.”
Reuters: In France, the path to radical Islam often begins with a minor offence that throws a young man into an overcrowded, violent jail and produces a hardened convert ready for jihad
LifeSiteNews: France’s “Terri Schiavo” shall live. A young man left to die of hunger because his doctor decided his quality of life after a car accident would no longer improve is being fed and hydrated again since Saturday, when his father and mother and two of his siblings obtained an emergency ruling. That ruling ordered the hospital where he is staying to restore all normal care.
Andrew Harrod at The Legal Project: Yet again depictions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad are causing controversy. The French satire magazine Charlie Hebdo has published a special edition released in January 2013 entitled La Vie de Mahomet, 1ère partie: Les débuts d’un prophète (“The Life of Muhammad, Part One: The Debut of a Prophet”; part two will follow in June 2013). Press reaction in both France and Germany, however, has not been uniformly welcoming, demonstrating once more a media aversion to open examination of Islam.
LifeSiteNews: Last weekend a number of major French cities held new rallies against same-sex ‘marriage’ that, despite the Spring vacation, attracted many thousands of participants. Organizers of “La Manif pour tous” (Demonstration for all) claim 35,000 demonstrators in Paris, 20,000 in Lyons, 20,000 in Rennes, and thousands more in Lille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Dijon and many smaller towns . . . Rumours suggest that the Court will announce it’s decision supporting the legislation on May 16th – the International Day against Homophobia.
Reuters: In France, the path to radical Islam often begins with a minor offence that throws a young man into an overcrowded, violent jail and produces a hardened convert ready for jihad.
Robert Zaretsky at the NY Times: Tocqueville and Gay Marriage
But why does Catholicism wield such influence in a country where scarcely 5 percent of the population attends church? In their new book, “Le Mystère français,” Emmanuel Todd and Hervé Le Bras map out the persistence of a Catholic mentality in large parts of France despite the withering of religious practice. This “zombie Catholicism,” they observe, reveals itself in professional and domestic differences between husbands and wives, community and family activities, and the vitality of “free schools” (Catholic private schools).
RT.com: The head of the Upper Chamber, Valentina Matviyenko, told President Putin that the Russian Foreign Ministry was already working on changes to the adoption agreement with France.