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France

French press review 22 April 2013

Disputes about marriage dominate this morning's front pages.

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Perhaps none too surprisingly, since there were people out on the streets of Paris yesterday, protesting against the proposed law which will allow marriage for everyone, including homosexual couples. And that bill is expected to be voted into law by the French parliament tomorriow.

So why did the protestors bother?

Says Catholic La Croix, yesterday's demonstration of force was simply to show the government that the opposition is not going to quietly fold its tents and disappear over the horizon. Those who see this law as an affront to their vision of marriage are going to fight on.

Right-wing Le Figaro is happy to see the quiet determination of opponents still mobilising huger numbers of protestors: 270,000 according to the organisers, 45,000 according to the police. Clearly, somebody is fudging the figures.

More seriously, left-leaning Libération says the basic issue in this debate has been allowed to drift from a democratic consideration of marriage, to an expression of "everyday homophobia".

On the inside pages of Le Monde, the writer Pascal Bruckner reminds us that it is not a crime to be rich.

Bruckner warns that recent scandals surrounding wrong-doing in high public places here in France should not blind us to the fact that there is a mentality which tends to associate great wealth with crime. In fact, much great wealth is the result of intelligence and hard work.

And a society in which the rich are stigmatised risks losing its best and brightest young business people to other, more open, societies.

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