At Once Catholic and Secular, France Debates Marriage

The New York Times
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January 10, 2013
Issues: 

Frigide Barjot has made a career of mocking the establishment of France, dressing in fluorescent pink sweaters, playing in a band called the Dead Pompidous and hosting a philosophy soirée at which she handed out T-shirts with the logo, “Kierkegaard is my homeboy.” But Ms. Barjot, born Virginie Merle 50 years ago, has also rediscovered her religious roots, writing a book called “Confessions of a Trendy Catholic.” And she has become one of the main actors and voices in France’s fierce debate over gay marriage, adoption rights and state financing for procreation assistance. It is a debate as sincere and confused, in a way, as Ms. Barjot’s own involvement. Despite her love of mockery and her support for the rights of gay couples, she is strongly opposed to gay marriage, and especially to the part of a proposed law that would allow married gay couples to adopt children and be recognized as their parents. On Sunday, she will help lead a large demonstration called “La Manif Pour Tous,” or a demonstration for everyone, a follow-up to an initial protest in November.