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L'Express - France | Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gay marriage highlights French identity problem

The French National Assembly has been discussing a controversial draft law on the introduction of same-sex marriage since Tuesday. If the debate on gay marriage is putting French society to the test it's because the country has deep problems with its own identity, the left-liberal weekly magazine L'Express writes: "France is now so at odds with itself, so desperately in search of what it is, that this innovation can only wreak havoc on the country. Firstly, because the topic of homosexuality poses the arduous question of identity. Secondly because the two camps - or in any case their extreme wings - have more or less deliberately used this debate to put forward their own idea of the national identity. ... The nervous tension surrounding the question of marriage for all first and foremost reveals the fears of a 'lost' country, and the fragile and contradictory certitudes with which it tries to reassure itself."

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