A journalist with the melodious name of Anna Cabana, who writes for Le Point, revealed on January 14, the day after the Manif pour Tous, that for the François Hollande, the million or more Frenchmen who demonstrated would not interrupt his plans to pass the new law. Why? Because they were "essentially white and Catholic". Here are her words:
François Hollande stands tall in his boots. I am deliberately using the expression Alain Juppé used in 1995. Hollande tall in his boots. Who would have thought? He was the man who sought easy consensus, who always wanted everybody to reach an agreement, the man who couldn't say no. Today, he reveals himself as a different person. In the days leading up to the demonstration, he was already displaying firmness saying that the street does not make the law. And now that the demonstration has taken place, the Elysée advisers are officially playing it down. One of them told me: "There were people, of course, but it wasn't a tidal wave. It was essentially white Catholic France in the street. That will not interrupt the passing of the bill." Unless
I'm mistaken this sounds like a refusal.
(…) Furthermore he's waging war. It comes at the right moment. He announced the intervention in Mali two days before the rally. This convergence of circumstances is unquestionably useful to him politically.
Since that revelation published eight days ago by Le Point little has changed, least of all François Hollande's intentions or those of his minister of Justice Christiane Taubira. An article dated January 21 in Le Figaro explains:
François Hollande will respond favorably to the demand of the organizers of the Manif pour Tous to meet with them. A meeting will be scheduled at Elysée Palace sometime before January 29, the day Parliament begins examining the law.
Note: The article points out that for the sake of appearances Hollande will be open to all points of view.
However, on substance, the president will not give in at all. No chance that he will erase the word marriage from the law and replace it with civil union, as the representatives for the Manif pour Tous are demanding. Nor does he have the slightest intention to hold a referendum demanded by the Right. "He will reaffirm his determination to pass the law. The principle will not change," insists a spokesman for Elysée.
Note: Another rally is scheduled for this Sunday January 27, but this time it will be the supporters of the law on gay marriage who will be marching. It will be interesting to compare the figures for the two rallies. Much of the French press refrains from saying that a million people demonstrated on January 13, preferring to stick with the lower figure of 800,000. But one source, Nouvel Obs, a left-wing paper still insists the correct figure is 340,000. An article dated January 21 affirms:
An examination of the videos of the demonstration confirm that about 340,000 persons participated, explained the prefect of police Bernard Boucault last Thursday, and not the 800,000 that the organizers claim.
The photo shows Hollande with his ministers, including Christiane Taubira on his left.