Article published the Sunday 13 January 2013 - Latest update : Sunday 13 January 2013

French weekly magazines review

By Marjorie Hache

Four of France's French weeklies have dedicated their front pages to the issue of gay marriage.

Left-leaning Le Nouvel Observateur has a cover full of lovely French celebrities with the caption “Why they are saying yes”. Le Figaro has "Family -the great mobilization”, Aujourd'hui en France's cover features a lesbian couple with two of their parents standing by smiling. It reads “Gay marriage: Parents will be there, or parents will back it". Inside there are portraits of four different families.

The parents, whose adult children are gay and often in same-sex relationships tell their different stories. Some say legalising gay marriage would help make up for legal voids in the system. Some say they know nothing of the gay world but they are delighted if the new law brings about equality.

One very religious couple tell of how their views on homosexuality changed when their daughter came out at the age of 18. They say it made them realise that it wasn't an illness but the congregation at the church they attended didn't accept their daughter's sexuality. They remain religious and look forward to their daughter becoming a parent in the future.

L'Express asks whether French president François Hollande will stall when it come to gay marriage? It says that the president who said he wanted to bring about appeasement and is already facing a disastrous economic situation now has to deal with a country divided in two. The separate question of medically assisted procreation for gay couples is one that is viewed differently by different members of the cabinet.

The role played President François Hollande's partner, Valérie Trierweiler is also of interest to people. She recently tweeted that she would be a witness at the wedding of some gay friends if/when the law is passed.

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The magazine also features a dossier which says that the debate on gay marriage has given rise to more complex questions such as whether medically assisted procreation should be made available to all. Anti-gay marriage protesters could number 300,000 this Sunday says the magazine, also noting that generally, the more educated people are, the more open they are to gay marriage.

Le Point and Marianne have different stories on their front covers. Le Point examines what it refers to as  the new theological war: meat. Yes forget Gay marriage and all that. The front cover makes you wonder over whether you will be put off your next steak by the article inside. It promises an investigation into what doctors say about healthy meat-eating, vegetarian trends and the halal meat controversy. Here we go… Nope, just flicked through it and best advice from the article I will share with you is that unless you have given up eating meat for animal-loving, religious or taste reasons, it’s eat less meat but meat of better quality.

Left wing Marianne looks at how former president Nicolas Sarkozy and current president François Hollande have, in the paper's view, allowed Qatar to take over the country. Marianne points to Qatari investment in French stock exchange companies, sports interests, national monuments, television companies and business ventures in some of the rundown areas on the outskirts of French cities.

The magazine asks why is Qatar so interested in France and why does France allow itself to be bought up so easily? A number of politicians, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon from the far-left Front de Gauche political movement and philosopher Benard Henri-Lévy, have expressed worry over the growing Qatari influence. Qatar’s ambassador doesn’t seem to think there is a problem. The Qataris will be doubling their involvement in the French stock market.

Interactive map of France

Marianne looks at how Qatari financial influence increased during Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency and notes that Hollande shows no inclination to reverse the trend.

tags: France - François Hollande - French politics - French press review - Gay marriage - Gay rights - Government - Press review - Qatar
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