News / Europe

    Same-Sex Marriage Issue Divides Europe

    French Senate Votes on Gay Marriage; Issue Divides Europei
    X
    April 03, 2013 2:54 PM
    A bill allowing same-sex marriages will go before the French senate Tuesday - the final legislative hurdle before it's signed into law. The issue has divided many European countries, including Britain, where both supporters and opponents of gay marriage are watching developments in the U.S. Supreme Court closely. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
    Henry Ridgwell
    The issue of same-sex marriages has divided many European countries, including Britain - where both supporters and opponents of gay marriage are watching developments in the U.S. Supreme Court closely. 

    Justin Welby, 57, officially became the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury last month under the gothic arches of Britain's 900-year-old Canterbury Cathedral.  Already the new head of the Anglican Church is in the eye of the stormy debate over gay marriage.  He said the Church should fight against homophobia, but it could not support same-sex marriage.

    "The Church of England holds very firmly to the traditional view of marriage, that it is a lifelong union with one man and one woman," he said.

    A former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, reignited the debate over the Easter weekend, accusing the British prime minister of bowing to 'aggressive secularism' in his backing of same-sex marriage.

    Gay rights groups and secular campaigners criticized Lord Carey's intervention.
    But the former archbishop's comments were timely, says Canon Chris Sugden of the organization Anglican Mainstream.

    "It is very important to see that it is the non-material things that contribute greatly to society's health, in particular the health of the family," he said.

    The new head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has in the past spoken out against gay marriage.

    Eight European countries recognize same-sex marriage, and several more are debating such legislation.

    Teresa Pires married her partner on the day Portugal, a majority Catholic country, signed same-sex marriage into law: June 7, 2010.  She says, now everybody knows, at least on paper, they are a family, and that is most important.

    The gay marriage debate has divided France.  Demonstrations by supporters and opponents in recent months have drawn hundreds of thousands onto the streets.

    Frédéric Navarro of the gay rights group Act Up Paris says the law is long overdue.  He says with the same-sex marriage law, society is beyond the denigration of homosexuality, and regarding homosexuals as if they are somehow below society.

    In June, the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on a law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.  Canon Sugden of says Europe is watching closely.

    "What has not happened in this country is a debate," he said. "At least in America you have Proposition 8, you have had it on the election tickets.  Here, no manifesto proposal, no party has put this forward, it has not been in the Queen's speech.  It is very undemocratic."

    Sugden predicts the debate could have political implications too, with traditional supporters of the ruling Conservative Party withdrawing their backing for Prime Minister David Cameron.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora