When I’m not writing, I’m reading, and I’ve been reading a lot lately.
R.J. Snell reviews What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense at Public Discourse:
For two people to be bodily united, “their bodies must coordinate toward a common biological end.” More than touching, however pleasant, and more than emotional bonding, however intense, “it is a remarkable fact that there is one respect in which this highest kind of bodily union is possible between two individuals, one function for which a mate really does complete us: sexual reproduction.” Our organic systems are perfectly sufficient in maintaining systemic union without the body of another except in sexual reproduction, and there, “and there alone,” the sexual difference of man and woman allows a coordinated activity toward a common end that neither can perform alone.
A peek into William Tucker’s futuristic dystopia:
Up they went, the Department of Big Business, the Department of Small Business, the Department of Multicultural Affairs, the Department of Multilingualism, the Bureau of Nutrition, the Commission on Contraception, the Board of Bullying, the Bureau of Self-Esteem. The old Department of Health had been divided and subdivided so that each certified disease now had its own wing – divided by class, race, and gender as well – all fighting furiously for inclusion in federal insurance policies and grappling for research appropriations so that if a staffer from the Division of African-American Asthma were to encounter someone from the Division of Varicose Veins Among Working Women there was bound to be a confrontation.
The idea that there was a land that stretched beyond the reach of Washington was concentrated into the simple phrase, “Out There.” There was indeed an Out There, although it was sometimes hard to remember. It was all readily accessible on VR and that was all that mattered. A representative from the Department of Education could easily attend a meeting of the Sioux Falls School Board to help them decide whether failing to provide a separate locker room for gay and lesbian students constituted sexual discrimination.
Yet somehow a sense of lethargy still hung over the country. People who visited Out There reported it unanimously. Everyone seemed dispirited. Small towns were boarding up their shopping malls, farming was in the hands of impersonal corporations that were beginning to import Senegalese farm hands (registering them with The Party, of course). The family farm was fading so that people speculated which was likely to disappear first, the farm or the family. The 15 percent unemployment rate was ameliorated by five-year benefits that included college tuition, but this only seemed to breed a population of scholar-gypsies who migrated from one institution to the next, collecting degrees in art history and holistic medicine while complaining there were no jobs available in their field. The Bureau of Skills Adjustment had been set up to deal with the problem.
In a similar vein, Glenn Harlan Reynolds compares America to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, specifically how the Capital lives in luxury at the expense of the district:
Washington is rich not because it makes valuable things, but because it is powerful. With virtually everything subject to regulation, it pays to spend money influencing the regulators. As P.J. O’Rourke famously observed: “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.” But it’s not just bags-of-cash style corruption. Most of the D.C. boom is from lobbyists and PR people, and others who are retained to influence what the government does. It’s a cold calculation: You’re likely to get a much better return from an investment of $1 million on lobbying than on a similar investment in, say, a new factory or better worker training.
So Washington gets fat, and it does so on money taken from the rest of the country: Either directly, in the form of taxes, or indirectly in the form of money that otherwise would have gone to that factory or training program.
The more accurate analogy, in my opinion, is the America we live in now is the prerevolutionary America that preceded the 13 districts.
At First Things, David Corbin and Matthew Parks pick apart the idea of government-managed economy:
During the Virginia debate over the ratification of the Constitution, Patrick Henry reminded the assembly: “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of government.” For most of our history, the American people have understood that while prosperity and military might may be the fruits of liberty, they are not the “direct end of government,” as Romney and Obama seemingly agreed, right to the end.
Russel E. Saltzman critiques an article on cohabiting couples he read in The Lutheran in 1997:
From a certain reading of the Lutheran confessions, marriage may be regarded as a sacrament, though not cited among the chief sacraments. It was viewed as a Christian vocation initiated in baptism, as calling and gift and obligation. The married couple sought to do in their home what the Church seeks to do in the world: Make the reality of redemption evident in the lives they touch and nurture. As I read Humanae Vitae, that’s not far from Paul VI.
The article in the 1997 issue of The Lutheran missed marriage entirely. But that is what happens when marriage is divorced from the construction of family. At heart, I think this necessary connection between marriage and family formation is what Paul VI sought to preserve.
The male half of the cohabiting couple featured by The Lutheran was quoted: “At this point, emotionally, spiritually, mentally there is nothing I could gain from marriage that I don’t already have.”
Oh? How about the task and joy, the duty and delight, of serving Christ in the public vocation of marriage, that necessarily intrinsic connection once existing between sex and marriage?
Culturally, marriage no longer has a purpose beyond self-fulfillment. The Lutheran‘s article was an implicit admission of it. The couples sought fulfillment of self in each other. There is nothing wrong with that, but it can become thin gruel if it is the only purpose.
Saltzman goes on to quote Paul VI in response to coarse treatment of women:
Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. (HV 17)
Cause and effect: When childbearing becomes a choice, men cherish women less. When women compete with men, men compete back.
On the flipside, the liberal media’s greatest hits on Republicans (courtesy, once again, of Quinn Hilyer):
Cheney and Romney aren’t as bad as Rick Santorum, though – at least not in the eyes of MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, who, quoting George Orwell’s 1984, compared the Pennsylvanian to “the forces of darkness and treasonable maggots who collaborate with them” – or maybe to the guy in 1984 who denounced those maggots (it’s not exactly clear). Bashir then cited a critic’s gibe that Santorum “has one of the finest minds of the 13th century,” before adding his own conclusion: “If you listen carefully to Rick Santorum, he sounds more like Stalin than Pope Innocent III.”
Compared to that, it was almost a compliment when the New York Times’ Bill Keller told, yes, MSNBC, that “Sometimes Santorum sounds like he’s creeping up on a Christian version of Sharia law.” Yeah, conservatives especially liked the part of Santorum’s platform approving of wife-beating in response to denial of sex – but only because the invisible ink in the platform noted that former New York Times editors-in-chief could be substituted for wives at any time during the beating process.
Paul Ryan of course wasn’t exempt from vitriol. The oft-loved Maureen Dowd wrote that “Ryan should stop being so lovable. People who intend to hurt other people should wipe that smile off their faces.” Not to be outdone, Esquire‘s Charles Pierce – a prior winner of the MRC’s single worst quote of the year when in 2003 he wrote that if Mary Jo Kopechne had lived, “Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age” – described Ryan as a “zombie-eyed granny-starver…an authentically dangerous zealot…a smiling, aw-shucks murderer of opportunity, a creator of dystopias in which he never will have to live.”
Only the West – and, really, only the West’s elites – has become infected with the fatal virus of civilizational self-loathing.
At some point during the 60’s – that wrongly celebrated but actually destructive time – shallow and over privileged members of my own post-war generation got the idea that our civilization’s errors (slavery, the industrial scale brutality of WWI, WWII, the excesses of industrial pollution, our own 19th century colonialist arrogance towards others) meant that we are not merely imperfect (a useful insight), but that we are perfectly bad (the reduction of a useful insight to self-destructive absurdity).
And so America’s educational system, gradually echoed by its popular culture, began teaching that falsehood to our children, along with the risible lie that all other cultures, especially stagnant and unproductive ones, are profoundly admirable.
The voters are right in voting for Democrats. Those folks who have lost out in the aftermath of the Great Recession are probably never going to rise again. Many of them, we know, are settling for a disability pension, and are getting ready to live out the rest of their lives on the dole. So they are voting for the dole. That’s a good idea as long as the checks keep coming.
So what happens next?
You can choose the Marxist prophecy, which says that the change in the economy changes the relations between people and prompts the creation of new “classes” mobilized to fight against injustices visited upon society by the old regime.
Or you can choose the moral movement notion, that politics is moved by moral movements, such as Great Awakenings, that work their way into politics and change the rules of governing.
If Obama is the fruition of a moral movement that started in the ’60s, another moral movement is beginning to gain steam now. Chantrill predicts what it will be, via the American Thinker:
I suspect that it will be more direct and personal, about the way that the sexual revolution and the welfare state have marginalized the lives of ordinary people, and women in particular. Scratch a woman, I believe, and you will find an instinctive faith in marriage, children, and modesty. Our liberal ruling class has taught women to value instead sexual liberation, careers, and childlessness, but these are the values of privileged upper-crust women, not ordinary women. Sooner or later, I predict, women will turn away from their top-down re-educators, just like ordinary people did in the Great Awakenings.
We conservatives are already in touch with the woman-led pro-life subculture that is revolting against a Planned Parenthood world. Suppose that that subculture went viral and started to reach the tattooed single mother working part-time as a hairdresser? Suppose that some moral leader emerged who could speak to these women and awaken them from the sleep of ages to the astonishing idea that instead of being depressive welfare-state dependents, they could be responsible beings called to a life of purpose by a God that would never forsake them?
In a beautiful blog entry at Patheos, Elizabeth Duffy describes getting over the regret of an unplanned pregnancy:
If there is a “contraceptive mentality” in Catholic marriage, it has almost nothing to do with abstaining from sex to space babies. Rather, it’s about wanting to undo or interfere with something that’s already taken place. God pitched me a ball, and I wanted to throw it back, hard enough to leave a bruise. What a dumb idea it was to play this game.
It’s really difficult to pinpoint exactly when one’s feelings about a pregnancy transmogrify. Sometimes, it’s the moment you realize that the loss of it is really possible. Sometimes it’s with the baby’s first movement, which confirms in a way you’ve always suspected, that pregnancy isn’t really about you.
Michael Goodwin writes in the New York Post of the fracturing Republican Party:
Media sages insist the GOP must learn to love tax increases and the job of being the tax collectors for the welfare state. They must become pro-choice and “get over this obsession with life,” as one so-called conservative put it. The religious beliefs of Evangelicals, Catholics and others must be tossed overboard if the party wants to attract those single women who are married to the Democratic Party for birth control and abortion.
In light of totalitarian regimes’ instinct to break the cultural link to the past by separating children from their parents, this story from (formerly Great) Britain is predictable: “Foster parents ‘stigmatised and slandered’ for being members of Ukip: A couple had their three foster children taken away by a council on the grounds that their membership of the UK Independence Party meant that they supported ‘racist’ policies.”
The title and subtitle say it all. Coincidentally, it’s the foster parents’ conservative views on Britain’s unique culture that render them unfit. The next logical step is to say these “bigots” are unfit to be parents at all, and to limit their right to procreate.
Michael Tanner writes on the fiscal cliff negotiations at National Review:
There is a profound lack of curiosity when it comes to the other half of this supposed bargain. Remember that hypothetical deal of $1 in tax increases to $10 in spending cuts? Republicans are still being asked about it and criticized for rejecting it. But balancing the budget under that formula would require $9 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years. When was the last time the president or a Democratic congressman was asked whether or not they would agree to such a deal?
For that matter, it’s worth noting that more than half of Democratic congressmen and eleven senators have signed a pledge to oppose any changes to Social Security or Medicare. If pledges are the root of all evil, couldn’t we pause for just a moment in our attempts to run Grover Norquist out of town to work up the tiniest bit of outrage about this one?
A namesake and fellow truth warrior, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, fights political correctness in the military establishment:
Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, a West Point graduate and decorated combat veteran, was an instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College at the National Defense University, where he was reportedly popular among students and fellow staff members, FoxNews.com reports.
That all changed when Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, slammed Dooley and his “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” course during a Pentagon press conference in May, calling his teachings unprofessional and “against our values.”
I keep hearing our leaders refer to “our values,” but I have no idea what they’re talking about. Would the chairman care to define what he means by “our values,” and how calling a spade a spade in the war on Islamist radicals is against them?
Bill Frezza writes of “fairness” in Forbes:
President George W. Bush did more than any other president to increase both the total income tax revenue and the share of income taxes paid by the top 2 percent by cutting everyone’s marginal tax rate, allowing the economy and everyone’s income to grow. Yet no one would say his policies increased fairness because while everyone gained, the rich gained even more!
The inescapable conclusion is that making the rich worse off is a key test of “fairness.” When it comes to pleasing the Fairness Fairy, a dollar of income reduction from the rich is worth as much as a dollar of tax collection. And that is exactly where we are heading.
Two and a Half Men child star Angus T. Jones is undergoing a transformation, as I am, and I pray he comes out the better for it:
About nine months ago, there were a series of events in my life where God was talking through other people to me. What God was giving me was, “The way your life is set up now and the way you are living and planning on continuing to live [smoking weed, doing acid] is not going to get you what you want.”
I am completely comfortable in my own skin. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me. I am there for the Word. I am not there to impress anyone.
Charlie’s situation: he lived in a bubble, a total glass jar, and everyone knew everything about him. It’s such a strange life, and not human for a person to be able to live like that. Basically, the way I see it, he gave society what they wanted to see in a celebrity: that’s what society, in the end, wants a celebrity to be. They want this spectacle, they want this huge train wreck of a life so they can say, “I am not so bad.” It makes them feel better.
The subtitle alone is worth the price of reading this article in the American Spectator by George Neumayr: “Claptrap About Compromise: It is the establishment’s euphemism for collusion in corruption”:
The difference between bank robbery and politics is one of degree, not kind. But if you control the media, education, and culture, as the redistributionists in America largely do, politics as organized theft can be presented as good government. The “extremists,” according to this understanding of politics, are the ones who refuse to participate in the fleecing.
The whole fiscal cliff debate revolves around redistributionist hectoring that casts collusion in organized theft as compromise. Under the patronage of the media, the politicians most responsible for the debt get to dictate the terms of compromise to the ones least responsible for it.
Jeffrey Lord rips “quisling” Republican consultants:
The real problem the Republican Party faces is the rise of a political consulting class that feeds off the beast that is the federal Leviathan.
What Mr. Schmidt does – and by no means is he alone – is depend on the growth of government to so entangle the private sector that it needs people like Steve Schmidt to simply stay alive. So when it comes to candidates – or talk radio hosts or the Tea Party or anybody that wants to take an axe to the insatiable beast that demands your tax dollars – Schmidt and company will use their Establishment podiums to go after them.
Scott D. Farver writes in Education Week about how he started wearing a tie to school:
By the end of the first week, my 5th graders were asking me why I was so dressy, and one teacher scoffed, “Isn’t that a bit much for here?”
For better or worse, regardless of the comments, I stuck to my bet for a month and ended up really liking wearing a tie to school. I felt more professional. I felt more important. I felt like my students felt like they were more important. I decided to continue my bet for the entire year.
My male principal occasionally tossed on a bolo, which fit the school’s style quite well. Seeing this made me think a lot about what I was doing and gave me incentive to stick with it. Yet the comment from that one teacher ate at me. What did families and the other teachers think of me? Was it too much? Was I supposed to conform to the prevailing culture and dress more like my co-workers, even if sometimes I felt like they were too dressed-down for our profession?
Contrast that story with this headline: “NH Teachers Union Outraged: Teachers Told They Can’t Wear Flip-Flops And Tank Tops To School, Calls Policy ‘Derogatory And Condescending.’
First Things reports “Tigerman kills himself”:
This poor Brazilian man thought he was a tiger and did everything surgically he could to make it so. Dennis Avner has committed suicide.
In the end he was likely frustrated that he could not really be a tiger, though advocates would say he died from tigerphobia.
I mention this not to make light of a tragic situation, but to point out that surgery—however drastic—cannot change underlying psychological problems.
Peter Lawler writes on the plight of uncultured, hyperliberal millennials, represented by Lena Dunham:
Dunham is a genuine defender of women’s right to choose, but the girls she shows on Girls so rarely actually choose well. So we conservatives are tempted to say we have no reason to believe their voting behavior is better than, for example, their sexual behavior.
The girls on Girls—mostly graduates of elite liberal arts schools—have no idea who they are and what they’re supposed to do. They’ve been failed by their education and the whole way they’ve been brought up. Despite their privileged backgrounds, they have almost no manners and no morals. Well, the Dunham character—the most confused of them all—does manage to say thank you for any kindness or ambiguous compliment that comes her way. But she’s also just about never moved by generosity or charity or even ordinary self-restraint. The other girls have plenty of reason not to regard her as a good friend.
The quality of relational life on the show is often abysmal—with the resulting visit to the abortion clinic, STDs, various pathetic hook ups, and whiny pretend marriages. It turns out that these girls, like us all, want meaningful work and personal love, but they have very little idea how to find them. We just know those girls would be happier if they were more about living for something more than themselves, for, for example, some principle or some family or their country or even God.
The general message of the show is what’s wrong with these girls is that they lack character—and they are, to a point, victims of an easygoing world of privilege that deprives them of the experiences that allow them to develop character. And if you want a basically a conservative (or libertarian/productivity) indictment of what passes for “liberal education” these days, watch Girls.
This nation is living on the residue of the economic growth begun in the 1950’s and accelerated in the 1980’s. That tidal wave of prosperity has ebbed. The United States has entered into a death spiral of unrestrained spending, excessive taxation, printing near worthless money, and stagnant economic activity. Rather than be straightforward with the populace, the governing class is content to paper over the problem by the usual shell games of phony long-term spending cuts, more borrowing, and prevarications about the efficacy of raising taxes on “the rich.”
Successful sex orientation therapy disproves the myth of sexuality as monolith, which is why the gay mafia wants to ban it.
Robert Stacy McCain of The Other McCain agrees.
The lucid and insightful gender issues writer Kay Hymowitz uses the Petraeus affair as a springboard to reveal some hard truths:
Powerful men cheat because even when they are 60, women still want them. And we judge those men because given the temptations, how else are we going to get them to behave?
Often enough, the women in question are young, beautiful, or, in the climacteric term in widespread use, “hot,” even if the men in question are not. In this respect, the world, and likely nature itself, remains indifferent to our rules of gender equality; with rare exceptions – Madonna, say, or heiresses with an eye for their groomsmen – peri- and post-menopausal women, even very powerful ones, are not nearly so alluring to younger men.
In the Petraeus affair, the contrast between the younger mistress and the older wife painfully illustrates this injustice. Commentators have made much of the “highly attractive” Paula Broadwell’s “curvaceous” body and “sculpted” arms; they have been notably less forthcoming in describing Mrs.Petraeus, and for understandable reasons. Let me simply put it this way; by all accounts a tough, loyal, and generous woman who deserved better from her husband of 37 years, the 59-year-old mother of two does not look as if she has been fending off many suitors in recent years. Her 60-year-old husband, on the other hand, is awash in female attention.
Throughout this tragedy, the response of churches, community organizations, and neighbors was inspiring. Volunteers stationed near one closed FEMA office continued to hand out supplies. While thousands of families remained without temporary housing or heat two weeks after the disaster, in even the earliest days of the tragedy, residents north of 40th Street in Manhattan who still had power took in people who had lost theirs.
Church community halls and gyms teemed with donations that had been rushed in from across the country. These included more than 2,500 boxes of coats, winter clothes, diapers, and other supplies from Mormon congregations in D.C. and surrounding areas, which hundreds of volunteers sorted and loaded into five 26-foot trucks.
The immediate responses of neighbor-to-neighbor outreach in the first hours of the disaster were nothing short of heroic. In the devastated Belle Harbor community of New York City, one man created a lifeline from twine, rope, extension cords, and lamp cords that families clung to as they escaped from a raging fire through torrential flood waters in the streets. Another man moved through chest-high waters, shepherding two women—with a toddler on his shoulders—to safety.
Michael Goodwin writes of the double standard Israel is held to in the New York Post:
While the hatred is shouted with a clenched fist on the smoldering streets of Gaza City, equally absurd claims are made by striped-pants diplomats and left-leaning sophisticates who insist Israel is guilty of “disproportionate” force because it uses its huge military advantage.
Their argument moves the goal posts. They tacitly accept Israel’s right to respond, but only up to a point. No matter its losses, the Jewish state must never “escalate” because that would be unfair.
Think about that: Affirmative action has come to the battlefield, where the results must be level for the sake of fairness.
Over at Hang Together, Greg Forster describes a “Great Conjunction” of conservative themes into a coherent, unifying, explanatory worldview. This is the stuff that excites me.
In the lawsuits over Obamacare, the administration has asserted the theory that a profit-making business or a hospital or a school cannot be said to exist primarily for a religious purpose or mission. If the courts endorse this claim, Christianity has been made illegal. Christianity cannot be what it is if the total primacy of God’s claim on our lives and the mission he has given us in the world is not permitted to achieve institutional expression in all areas of life, rather than simply in churches narrowly defined. This is not to say that all Christians must attend distinctively Christian schools or work in distinctively Christian businesses; far from it. However, if the formation of such institutions is illegal, Christianity is illegal.
Romantic individualism has a contradiction at its core: it is not as individualistic as it thinks it is. It has always sought, and achieved, institutional embodiment – all while denying to itself that it seeks this. The two chief places it has been embodied are in the state - hence the need for a state-controlled “civil religion” in the Social Contract - and in educational institutions. The near-total triumph of Romantic individualism in these two sectors has coincided with a continual contraction of actual liberty for the individual, as both these types of institutions have become more rigid in imposing Romantic individualism as orthodoxy.
I think “Romantic individualism” is their phrase for what I call “humanism” and for what Mark Levin calls “statism.” Hm, maybe this “Great Convergence” would be easier to explain to the uninitiated if we called it the same thing...
Joel Gehrke reports in the Washington Examiner:
Sixty-three percent of college graduates believe that the American Dream is dead, leading some to consider moving out of the country, according to a survey conducted by a discount coupon company.
“We all have heard about the ‘American dream’ and we were curious to discover whether or not current graduates were still optimistic about their future,” said Mark Pearson, chairman of Couponcodes4u.com. “We were shocked to discover that the majority of the graduates polled believed that the American dream was dead and with increased debt, inability to find work and trouble finding affordable housing, it is no wonder they are quite pessimistic about their future.”
Such a dismal outlook is the driver of Millennials’ uncertainty.
“We need to start using the word female instead of woman. Woman is patriarchal word,” tweets Roseanne Barr.
This is foolish even from a feminist view, as the fundamental reality that men and women are different remains. What excising the word “woman” from our language does achieve is a clinical level of dehumanization. Imagine the Nazi reports to central command on the numbers of Jews murdered in a given week: “2,454 males extinguished Oct. 1 – Oct. 7. 3,029 females extinguished over same period.”
The pope addresses “practical atheism”:
Christian witness is always hard, [the Pope] said, because people are prone to “being dazzled by the glitter of worldliness,” but in the Western world sharing the faith is even harder today.
As he described it, the Christian faith was the everyday reality for most people in what used to be called Christendom. The burden was on non-believers to justify their disbelief.
But today the tables have turned following a long slide into atheism, skepticism and a secular worldview that was ushered in by the Enlightenment.
This, in turn, has paved the way for moral and spiritual disaster in the Western world. People have become confused about ethics once commonly held, making room for relativism and fostering “an ambiguous conception of freedom, which instead of being liberating ends up binding man to idols,” the Pope said.
A liberal college student at the University of Chicago smugly describes a liberal “Inquisition” on campus:
It’s a hard life out there for Republicans on our campus. They learn to avoid confrontation and deflect attention away from their political leanings. Whenever the subject comes up they’ll find renewed interest in what’s happening elsewhere in the apartment or in their fantasy football teams. Even when pinned down and forced to admit their wrongs, Inquisition-style, these Republicans have a number of evasive maneuvers at their disposal. There are a few things that you should look out for so that in your next Republican witch-hunt you don’t let them get away.
An apt metaphor for Leftism as dogma.
Let’s reach into the past for this article by Daniel Greenfield, on the futility of micromanaging society to avoid severe societal traumas like the Denver theater shooting:
We escape tragedy by searching for control and this is an obscene gift that we give to liberalism and its counterpart, the police state. Both promise us a better and safer world in exchange for our freedom. After every tragedy they promise us that they can keep it from happening again. They can’t. No one can.
The illusion of control attempts to tie James Holmes to some larger issue, whether it’s gun control or movie violence. It ignores the banality of individual evil, to make him into some larger monster that we can fight. But sometimes there is no meaning to evil except that it exists. No way to make sense of it or transform into a social crusade. Evil just is.
France’s Socialist government Wednesday approved a draft law to authorise gay marriage and adoption despite fierce opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition.
President Francois Hollande, who made the issue a key part of his electoral platform, told a cabinet meeting the move was “not only a step forward for some but for all of society,” government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said.