At heart, France is so secular that All Saints Day is a public holiday. It is no wonder that the town mayors, who alone can perform a legal rather than a purely religious marriage ceremony in France (people have the church service, the real wedding with all the trimmings, later that day or on the day after, but that is no concern of the State), are in revolt against the proposal to extend legal marriage to same-sex couples.
As they rightly point out, if this is the logical conclusion of civil partnerships, which the rest of us had thought were their own logical conclusion, then, since France is sufficiently civilised not to restrict civil partnerships to a privileged caste of unrelated same-sex couples, then marriage will have to be extended to close relatives if they should happen to want it. If, it is being asked by the mayors, marriage is about nothing more than that people love each other, then why not extend it to more than two people who love each other? Leading, among other things, to the question of Islamic polygamy. They are a clear-thinking lot, the French. They teach philosophy in their schools.
La France éternelle, the land of Charles Martel, is where his heirs are valiantly engaged in a demographic war, not only against the rise of a semi-feral underclass which is in any case nothing on that in the “Anglo-Saxon” countries that have ceased to will the means to a properly functioning bourgeoisie and proletariat, but also against the Islamic expansionism that dismembered France as recently as 1962, when she was mutilated by the loss, not of three colonies, but of three départements, integral parts of the French State and nation, a mutilation resisted with arms by General Raoul Salan, founder of the OAS, lifelong Socialist, and Grand Orient Freemason, though not, as is sometimes suggested, Jew.
That was the perspective from which, in and through the person of a decorated veteran of the Algerian War, France opposed the greatest catastrophe since 1962 for what was originally Christendom on three continents, covering every inch of the Mediterranean’s shores. For what remained of that, 1962 was the greatest catastrophe since 1948 (itself the greatest since 1923), and 2003 seems set to have been the greatest until a similar intervention in Syria. That will doubtless also be resisted by la France éternelle, the conscious, literal rebirth of which will have tremendous consequences in, for example, the United Nations Security Council, where they can expect the support of Russia and will also deserve that of the United Kingdom and of the United States.
Never forget that talk of what would originally have been a Second Western Alliance, but against Islamic rather than Communist expansion, has been a commonplace of French political discourse ever since the 1950s. And never forget that Mitterrand gave a job to Poujade, in whom the Legitimist and Bonapartist traditions met, who had endorsed him and who did so again, just as Chirac and Giscard d’Estaing both endorsed Hollande. Well, against Sarkozy, of course they did.
Part and parcel of all of this is resistance to the redefinition of marriage as anything other than the union of one man and one woman. And the defence of civil partnerships as not restricted to a privileged caste of unrelated same-sex couples. Including the removal of any such restriction where it exists. As it does in Britain.