18 March 2010
On March 11th, France’s highest court of appeals upheld a ruling of the regional Court of Appeals in the city of Rennes January 30, 2008, which refused to legalize paid maternity leave for pregnant women in same-sex civil unions.
Referencing the social security codes, the Court of Appeals ruled that "the paid parental leave is open to the father of the child, due to a legal linkage between the child and its two parents." To which the Gay and Lesbian Parent's Association (AGPL) responded, "In terms of law, the Court of Appeals is right. It’s this very law which keeps the differences between who gets paid leave based on biological origin versus actual parenting that smacks of discrimination."
More generally, the APGL is pushing for a modification on the law so that it is provides for the same right, via a claimant’s being able to prove a social parenting role with the child.
In this court case, it is clear that the child in question is from a stable family with proper parenting from two partners in a civil union. However, the child only has one legal parent and is this in the same legal precariousness of the 200,000 children living with parents of the same-sex. The AGPL believes these children deserve the same protection as the others, beginning with those in a legally-recognized partnership.
The AGPL says that its next move will be to the para-statal organ High Authority Against All Forms of Discrimination (la Halde), ending its press release by calling the case "legal discrimination which smacks of a form of homophobia from the State."
26 February 2010
The Non-Smokers' Rights Association in France (l'association Droits des non-fumeurs) and its ad agency BDDP & Fils produced a media ad likening teen smoking to submission to the tobacco industry. The ad has generated lots of buzz inside and outside of France, but many French leaders have publicly denounced the ad as too provocative and in downright bad taste. The ads shows two teens on their knees at eye level with a cigarette protruding from their mouths at a man's crotch, with the caption 'Smoking makes you a slave to tobacco'. Rémi Parola, the association's director, credits the ads' provocative nature with the buzz it generated, and defends it from detractors as helping raise awareness where other anti-smoking campagins go unnoticed.
Roselyne Bachelot, France's Health Minister, judged the ad to be 'innapropriate' and 'counter-productive', while the Secretary of State for Families Nadine Morano called for the ads to be pulled.
Marco de la Fuente, The agency's vice president, had this to say, "the campaign seeks to further the view that smoking does is a sign of submission and naivety: a behavioral, psychological, and physical submission to a drug that controls youths acts, harms their bodies and is very expensive".
25 February 2010
YAGG Editor Judith Silberfeld recently caught up in Paris with Paige Braddock, Charles Schultz creative director and creator of the sensational lesbian comic book series Jane's World. Braddock reveals that half of her comics' readership is heterosexual, discusses shortcomings of the hit tv show 'The L Word', and reports that gay males comprise the smallest % of the comic series' followers. Finally, Braddock she tells why she likes the comic strip format of story-telling.