I'm a little surprised by the vehemence of the protests in France that have erupted after the government recently legalized gay marriage. Isn't this the country whose citizens often snootily point out the superiority of their Gallic culture, what with their 35 hour work week, their long summer vacations, the wine, the foie gras and baguettes? Isn't this the country that just elected a socialist government despite warnings that the country was teetering on the brink of economic collapse because they just couldn't accept those Anglo-Saxon limits to their famous joie de vivre? It seems to me that the French, of all people, would be totally cool with gay marriage - it's so cosmopolitan, after all.
So it turns out that some French people aren't cool with it, and they took to the streets to express their displeasure in the tens of thousands. OK, France is a democracy - people are entitled to peaceable assembly. But in France? Protests against gay marriage seem so ... American.
In typical French contrarian fashion, the young men of Lyon fight the power by removing their shirts and donning Phantom of the Opera masks. Really? You want to protest gay marriage by stripping half naked and marching through the streets like you're in a pride parade? That's so ... gay. Vive la difference.