06/25/2010 10:05 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

French Conservative Christine Boutin Shows Homophobia Gives Bad Karma

The French gay and lesbian community has been waging a war against christian conservative leader, Christine Boutin, for over ten years.

In 1998, she broke one of France's most sacred secular laws by brandishing the Bible inside the National Assembly, in order to protest against the proposal for PACS, a new civil union contract that was to be opened to same-sex couples. The PACS would eventually be voted, and massively successful... among straight couples.

Boutin gained incredible fame thanks to her lost crusade, and was even made Minister in Charge of Housing by president Nicolas Sarkozy for a short-lived term in 2007-2009.
While the French seemed to be endeared by her apparent compassion for the poor, her views on homosexuality remained skewed: though she distanced herself from the most extreme religious ideas, she insists that homosexuals don't need "or want" marriage or adoption rights.

What has been upsetting to the LGBT community is that she is systematically called in to debate about homosexuality by journalists, writers or thinktanks, as if having been a vocal anti-gay advocate gives her legitimacy in discussing the quest for civil rights. For example, last month, the activist group Act Up-Paris tried to stop her from partaking in a debate about assisted reproductive technology. She was also invited to co-write a book called: "Are Homosexuals Still Scary?" where she expresses contempt for the Gay Pride parades, and explains that homosexuality is not "the norm" and denounces what she calls "the gay lobby," a French obsession with an imaginary circle of powerful gays in politics and the media, "pulling the strings." 

It seems today, Karma has struck. Last week, French investigation newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné revealed that Boutin receives a 9, 500€ monthly salary from the government for writing "a report on the social impact of globalization," as well as a staff of four, and a car with a driver; and this on top of the 6000 € monthly pension benefit she gets as a retired member of parliament.
The question of whether she has any kind of competence in the subject aside, at a time when the prime minister explains the country has to save money... the news did not go well with the French press and population: most of the ex-ministers asked to write reports do it for free. Following the polemic, Christine Boutin had to abandon the salary. Unfortunately, the sad moral of the story is that where I personally see Bad Karma, Christine Boutin undoubtedly sees, once again, the actions of the mysterious "Gay Lobby." 

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