World Notes & Quotes

French Turn Out to Protest Homosexual 'Marriage’ Bill

ASSOCIATED PRESS,Feb. 1—At least 100,000 people, including entire families, marched through Paris in late January to protest a bill that would give legal status to unmarried couples and, opponents claim, subvert the family.

The leftist government of Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has been pressing to make the Civil Solidarity Pact law. Critics say the bill's real aim is to legalize homosexual “marriages,” and ultimately allow homosexuals to adopt children as a couple. The government has stood by the bill, which could be law before the year is out.

The Associated Press reported that the demonstration “drew families, Roman Catholic groups, and diverse groups of youths,” and “was apolitical.” So much so that “organizers chased politicians from the front of the procession, including centrist lawmaker Christine Boutin, who has been the most outspoken opponent of the bill in the National Assembly.”

A similar demonstration in November drew some 60,000 people.

Canadian Media vs. Chastity Promoters

THE NATIONAL POST, Jan. 23—Three members of the Canadian Parliament went to bat for an organization that promotes chastity, and found themselves defending their own choices in favor of traditional morality.

The row began when Reform Member of Parliament Jason Kenney, leader of the pro-life caucus, complained to government authorities over the denial of tax-exempt status for Challenge Team, a group that promotes teen chastity, due to it's “perceived bias,” and for holding to “a one-sided approach to education,” according to the Post article. (The same grounds have been used to deny tax-exempt status to two pro-life organizations while permitting it for Planned Parenthood.)

In answering press questions about his stance in favor of Challenge Team, Kenney allowed that, as a single Catholic, he followed the Church's sexual teaching. Fellow Members of Parliament Rob Anders and Logan Day were similarly frank, but only in response to media queries. They were described by the Post as holding “seemingly antiquated views on sex.”

Peter Stockland, a Post columnist, lamented the Canadian media's lack of interest in “the injustice of the tax system,” and bashed the media, which “… had the three of them proclaiming their commitment to … abstinence as if they had called a press conference to do so.”

Guinness Record Setters Give God Credit

THE IRISH TIMES, Feb. 5—After 78 years and 190 days of happy marriage, Michael Brady, 98 and his wife Catherine, 104, were confirmed by staff at the Guinness Book of Records as Britain's longest-married couple.

The Catholic couple raised six children in Manchester, England, and now live in a nursing home in Middlesbrough.

Brady was born in Omagh in Northern Ireland and lived there until he was 6. “The town was divided, but nothing like today, and Roman Catholics couldn't get a job,” said Brady, who recalled bullies threatening to beat up Catholic children who “didn't curse the Pope.”

The couple's daughter, Molly Highfield, 65, said the secret of her parents’ successful marriage was quite simple: “It was because they always put their family first and they put their faith in almighty God.”