The bill on "marriage for all" should be seen alongside another bill, announced by the Minister for Education Vincent Peillon, for the "radical reform of the schools of the Republic." The latter is intended notably "to introduce a new compulsory teaching of secular morality and civic education and to fight from a tender age against gender stereotypes." According to Mr Peillon, "‘the goal of secular morality is to tear the pupil away from all the familial, ethnic, social and intellectual determinisms’ so that ‘each pupil can be emancipated’, because ‘the goal of the republican school has always been to produce a free individual.’" The Minister for Justice, Christiane Taubira, added: "in our values, Education aims at liberating children from social and religious determinisms and making them free citizens."
Grégor Puppinck, director of the European Center for Law and Justice (ECLJ), denounced these statements: "one of these determinisms is gender identity; the deconstruction of gender stereotypes is regarded as a means of emancipating children.
" Is this imposition of gender theory from primary school really less radical than the experiments currently being carried out in Swedish crèches? That is far from being obvious (Gènéthique press review from 25th to 29th of March 2013
). Grégor Puppinck reminds us that the report by IGAS (General Inspectorate of Social Affairs) recommends "replacing the terms ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ by the neutral terms ‘friends’ or ‘children’, telling stories in which the children have two dads or mums, etc.
" According to the report, the aim is to "prevent sexual differentiation and the interiorisation by the children of their sexual identity.
The director of the ECLJ issues a warning: "if the Taubira law on ‘marriage’ is adopted, public schools will not only have to ‘deconstruct gender stereotypes’ in the minds of children, but also teach them that it is normal to have two mothers (and an unknown father), or two fathers (and a surrogate mother)." He adds: "The parents who will want to pass on natural morality to their children will be caught in a trap: they will have to explain to their children that they must not believe everything that is said in school, but must keep quiet so as not to have problems." He calls this "a clear violation of the natural rights of parents." "The projects and statements of Mme Taubira and Mr Peillon reveal without ambiguity their intention not to respect the rights of parents but to tear the children away from them in order to liberate them."
However, he points out, "the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognises that ‘parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children’ (art. 26.3)." Moreover, "by ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the signatory States ‘undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and […] to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions’ (art. 18.4)." Lastly, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) also lays down that "the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophicalconvictions." (art. 2 of the first additional protocol).
Recently, a draft recommendation of the Council of Europe "on the rights and legal status of children and of parental responsibilities" was proposed but "rejected by the Committee of Ministers after intense ‘counter-lobbying’." This recommendation proposed to ratify marriage, adoption, medically assisted procreation and surrogacy for couples of the same sex. Its sole objective was "to found the family a new based only on the human will (and not on biology) and to lay down the principle of the acceptability and equivalence of all types of unions and procreation." But this rejection suggests to Grégor Puppinck that this trend to want to impose gender theory, while remaining strong, is not ineluctable. So, he says, we must "show what true freedom, based on the truth, consists of. The truth is not inaccessible: it is the truth that every child has a father and a mother and needs them. Because these children are those of their parents, and not of the State, the public authorities have the duty to respect the rights of parents to educate their children."