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France Divided: Huge Rally Against Gay Marriage, While Lesbian Film Wins Cannes



PARIS - Some 350 people were arrested over the weekend in Paris, during protests against gay marriage. Meanwhile in the south of France, the Cannes Film Festival celebrated gay romance, awarding the top Palme d’Or prize to a love story about a lesbian couple.

Despite the law being officially enacted last week, the dispute over same-sex marriage is still shaking France. Police estimated that up to 150,000 joined marches on Sunday to demand the withdrawal of the law. Organizers claimed they were closer to one million.

After the rally, clashes erupted between far-right groups and the police. French authorities said they had made a total of 293 arrests and that six people were injured in the course of Sunday's demonstration: four police officers, an Agence-France Press (AFP) photographer and a protester, the AFP reports. A total of 350 arrests were made over the weekend.

#PHOTO: Riot policemen arrest a far-right protester in Paris on the sidelines of demos against gay marriage law twitter.com/AFP/status/338…

— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) 26 mai 2013

#PHOTO: #AFP photographer beaten up by far-right protesters during demo against gay marriage law. #manifpourtous twitter.com/sarnaudAFP/sta…

— AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) 27 mai 2013

"These incidents were provoked by several hundred individuals, most from the extreme right and the (nationalist) Identity Bloc, who violently attacked police," said Interior Minister Manuel Valls.

The first gay wedding will be celebrated this week and Valls ensured that “no disturbance from far-right groups would be accepted”, Le Parisien reports.

This country's strong divide over the issue of same-sex marriage was also on display at the world's premiere film festival. The Cannes jury, headed by Steven Spielberg, awarded its highest prize to a gay-themed film. “Blue is the Warmest Color,” by French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche, celebrates a love story between two young women.

#PHOTO: "Blue is the Warmest Colour" scooped the top Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival. #Cannes2013 twitter.com/AFPphoto/statu…

— AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) 26 mai 2013

Accepting the prize, Kechiche said: "I should like to dedicate this film to the wonderful youth of France whom I met during the long period while making this film. Those young people taught me a lot about the spirit of freedom and living together,” La Croix reports.

France is now the ninth country in Europe, and 14th in the world, to legalise gay marriage.

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What To Do With The Complainers In Your Life — Advice From A South American Shrink

Argentines love to complain. But when you listen to others who complain, there are options: must we be a sponge to this daily toxicity or should we, politely, block out this act of emotional vandalism?

Photo of two men talking while sitting at a table at a bar un Buenos Aires, with a poster of Maradona on the wall behind them.

Talking in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Martín Reynoso*

BUENOS AIRESArgentina: the land of complainers. Whether sitting in a taxi, entering a shop or attending a family dinner, you won't escape the litany of whingeing over what's wrong with the country, what's not working and above all, what we need!

We're in an uneasy period of political change and economic adjustments, and our anxious hopes for new and better leaders are a perfect context for this venting, purging exercise.

Certain people have a strangely stable, continuous pattern of complaining: like a lifestyle choice. Others do it in particular situations or contexts. But what if we are at the receiving end? I am surprised at how complaints, even as they begin to be uttered and before they are fully formulated, can disarm and turn us into weak-willed accomplices. Do we have an intrinsic need to empathize, or do we agree because we too are dissatisfied with life?

Certainly, agreeing with a moaner may strengthen our social or human bonds, especially if we happen to share ideas or political views. We feel part of something bigger. Often it must seem easier to confront reality, which can be daunting, with this type of "class action" than face it alone.

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