Everyone seems to be protesting these days. In Saudi Arabia, women are fighting for their right to be able to drive a car and have their own personal mobility. In Greece, everyone is fighting the government’s new austerity measures. Moroccans are protesting against their King’s absolute power. In a small town in China, people rioted against the police abuse of a pregnant street vendor. Even in peaceful Canada, hockey fans went berserk after the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup.
Here in Toulouse, on a normal looking Saturday morning, we somehow found ourselves inadvertently walking smack dab into the middle of a huge protest. At first we weren’t sure what it was… a parade or a festival or what? There were a lot of young people running up the street to get in on the action, so we decided to follow them and see what was up. On the boulevard, we saw the trucks coming and people gathering, and a lot of rainbow flags. And judging by the high ratio of tight pants and wigs, loud music, and confetti and foam machines, we figured it must be a gay pride parade. Excellent! I love pride parades.
But then on another side of town, we ran into another much less raucous parade with people holding up banners and signs and marching peacefully up the road. That’s when it suddenly clicked: it wasn’t just a gay pride parade. A few days before I had read in the papers that the French parliament voted against same-sex marriage, and these people were fighting for their right to marry the person they choose, regardless of what kind of junk you’ve got in your trunk.