On April 2nd, in Bucharest, Romania, at the conference “Human Trafficking: a Threat to Family Values”, Ludovine de la Rochère, president of French people’s movement La Manif pour Tous, explained, in an exclusive interview for Stiripentruviata.ro, the secret of success in mobilizing large parts of society. The movement she represents has opposed last year in France to legalizing same-sex “marriage” and to the adoption of children by same-sex couples. Despite the fact that the same-sex marriage was finally legalized, the movement managed to stop a law on medically-assisted reproduction and surrogate mothers.
La Manif pour Tous has also reversed the trend of public opinion views on natural family in France and initiated a real debate and a widely-spread resuscitation of fundamental values expression in the French world.
In the interview, Mrs. de la Rochère spoke about the challenges faced by today’s families, about the child’s inalienable rights and the adoption practice, about the gap between politics and reality – as reflected in the parallel language constructs – and about the fact that we are made to defend fundamental realities which cannot be a matter of opinion or interpretation and which we used to suppose were self-explanatory.
Rep: Is marriage between persons of the same sex a matter of equality?
Ludovine de la Rochère: The situation of same-sex couples is very different from that of couples made of different sexes. The latter can bear children, while the former cannot. That is why we need to accept the reality that there is need for a man and a woman in order to procreate, to love each another and lay the foundation of a family in which to raise and educate the child. We cannot set the equal sign between completely different situations.
The perpetually-invoked equality has no basis. I’d rather talk about equal rights for the children. Children have the right to be recognized as offspring of a man and a woman. They all have the right to be raised by their natural father and mother. If there are life accidents, this is something else. But we cannot decide to deprive children of their right to have a dad and a mom. We would create a major inequality between children who have a natural father and a natural mother and children who are deprived of a father or of a mother. And this is a serious matter.
Rep: Do you think EU is doing enough to protect the family?
Ludovine de la Rochère: Of course not. In fact, EU does not have family policies among its attributions. This is for each member state to tend to. But in reality, there are quite many texts (ed. note – of EU laws or recommendations) concerning family and this should not happen. That is why the future European Members of Parliament must respect the principle of subsidiarity in the field (ed. note – this principle establishes in which fields EU has competences and in which the member states do, at national or local level: EU may intervene only where it can act more efficiently than member states). It is a European rule which must be respected.
Rep: Is the Christian voice heard in today’s Europe and how respected it is?
Ludovine de la Rochère: Faith brings immense value to the issues we are concerned about and we speak about, but marriage and filiation are facts of reality, not a matter of opinion or religious and political sensitivity.
Of course, persons of faith, like me, are even more shocked by such projects and laws. But there are also a lot of persons who are not religious and yet are just as shocked by these and oppose to these.
Rep: How was your experience with the French mass-media on the subject of the debate surrounding the draft laws on same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples?
Ludovine de la Rochère: The overwhelming majority of the media were rather favorable to these draft laws. Eventually, the situation turned a bit like in Croatia (ed. note – last year, in Croatia, despite media boycott, civil society initiated a referendum in which people overwhelmingly pronounced themselves against redefining natural family and “traditional” marriage).
Most of the media channels were against La Manif pour Tous movement. There were some that listened to us, but only a few. The neutrality we expected from them simply did not exist. It is quite abnormal, since journalists are supposed to offer to both parties the possibility to express themselves.
In reality, the televised debates I attended presented me alone against all the other guests, who were selected so as to be opposed to the idea I was promoting. It’s not normal. These are not the rules of journalism. And obviously not the rules of democracy.
Rep: What does human dignity mean in today’s Europe?
Ludovine de la Rochère: Before even speaking of the dignity of human beings, the great difficulty consists of the fact that the very word “dignity” has been used lately in a completely different way, just like “equality” or “freedom”. Many such extremely important words are being used with the most different significations possible. They’ve been hijacked. For instance, regarding euthanasia, in France we have an association, Droit de Mourir dans la Dignité, which means “The Right to Die in a Dignified Way”. They advocate the right to die without suffering and without physical degradation, promoting euthanasia. But other use the word with another signification, saying the human being is always dignified and must always be respected regardless of its state, age and so on. Dignity is an inalienable human characteristic, it is the very essence of our human being and we must respect it under any circumstances.
Rep: Is there a double language, a parallel one, the language of ideology?
Ludovine de la Rochère: Yes, there is. Words are usurped and I’m afraid we’ve forgotten our philosophical knowledge. Especially the media has lost its solid philosophical foundation and uses the words arbitrarily until there’s nothing left of their initial signification. As a matter of fact, I do remember that Vatican has published a major study entitled Dictionary of Ambiguous and Controversial Terms, dealing exactly with these new aspects of… vocabulary.
Rep: In Romania, children wait many years in orphanages before being put up for adoption. How do you see adoption and how should the adoption law be?
Ludovine de la Rochère: I think it’s very sad. Children need a Mom and Dad. They have lost their parents and need to be welcomed as fast as possible by new mommys and daddys.
I think adoption should be naturally reserved for married couples made of a man and a woman. It should not be authorized for single parents, although in France it is exactly like that, which isn’t logical and natural.
A child who lost its parents needs to find a new real family, made of a father and a mother. I also think it is important that adoption be allowed for families made of couples who expressed their long-term commitment in marriage. They must prove they are able to assume responsibility and express a real commitment to one another and to the family. Obviously, this is the best for the child.
Unfortunately, there are many couples affected by sterility, therefore I do not understand the reasons of the delayed practice you mention. It’s bad for the children themselves.
Rep: It is like that now because in the 1990s a lot of children were too easily internationally adopted and we’ve lost trace of them…
Ludovine de la Rochère: I see. Nevertheless, there are quite a lot of couples who want to adopt. There must be many good parents among them. Of course it is a difficult decision in each case, but maybe the files could be processed so as a family can be found as soon as possible for every child. It’s not easy, but it would evidently be better for the parents and especially for the children.
Rep: Why was this international conference, “Human Trafficking: a Threat to Family Values”, held in Romania? What are the lessons Romania can learn from the debates and presentations made here?
Ludovine de la Rochère: We’ve presented the experience of France and that of Croatia (ed. note – in defending natural family). Croatia has had an enormous success, quite magnificent and delightful. All the countries will sooner or later be confronted with such legislative projects and must protect themselves as soon as possible. Romania has a project to add in its Constitution the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It is formidable and I’m convinced there are many tools and communication methods to favor this work.
As far as I’m concerned, I’d say we should go even further, inscribing (ed. note – in juridical texts) other additional principles, not just the one referring to marriage. For instance, the fact that a child cannot be deprived of a father or a mother and that is why homosexual couples should not have the right to adoption, to medically assisted procreation or to using surrogate mothers.
If we establish that a child cannot be deliberately deprived of father or of mother, we won’t open the way for filiation inside same-sex couples, since this would usurp the very definition of filiation.
In addition, a child is not somebody’s property and therefore cannot become the object of a gestation contract with a surrogate mother.
Another principle the state must respect is that education is to be determined by the father and the mother. Otherwise our schools will be flooded by ideology, more specifically by gender theory.
Rep: What’s the situation in France now in this matter?
Ludovine de la Rochère: Now, in France there’s a curriculum called ABCD de l’Egalité (ed.note – The Alphabet of Equality – a textbook for primary schools and kindergartens), based on gender ideology despite the government’s denying it. We strongly oppose this curriculum which in September 2014 should be introduced in all the French schools. In the following weeks, we’ll organize new actions to determine withdrawal of this project from the education system. For the moment, it has been introduced in 600 classes, but we don’t want to see it generalized.
We must constantly build defensive walls and obstacles. We need to introduce in France’s fundamental law the inalienable principles that respect the man-woman reality of the human being and the consequences resulting from it.
Rep: We would have thought France was the country of libertinage and maximum tolerance, but we can see now things are not exactly like that. People seem to return to traditional values. Is there a… counter-revolution happening?
Ludovine de la Rochère: For some of the French people, the first part of your affirmation is right. But I think every citizen from any country knows too well deep inside this truth we perceive with our heart, with our mind, with our very insides: marriage needs a man and a woman. And the child needs a father and a mother.
Everybody says that. If we claim the contrary, we drift away from reality and enter the realm of ideology. But we need to help citizens become aware of the present problem and think of it. Maybe this is exactly what we need most: getting informed and getting to think on these issues.