(Photo by Ariel Poster: Women tend trees with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya)

Friday, April 26, 2013


Christiane Taubira, French minister of Justice


In the cantankerous, impolite grounds of the French Parliament,
debate was raging over same-sex marriage.
Emotions ran so heated, bloody violence
had spilled over into the streets of beautiful Paris.
Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira took her place at the podium.
The alchemist!  So filled with humanity, warmth and charm,
deeply herself in any milieu,
she melted hearts with her insight and vision.
Alchemist!   Looking back over time,
how often has the right to marry
excluded any and all outcast groups,
Jews, Protestants, lapsed Catholics, actors?!
The question lingers:   who are we allowed to love?
Christiane reminds the world, there are children,
children like any other, laughing, crying, skinning their knees,
“children who detest broccoli, who drive us crazy.”
With these few words, she, the alchemist,
reminds us of what is at stake.
How much of our humanity do we want to risk?
How wide a swath of ourselves is it possible to hate?
Christiane, the alchemist, changes the world,
“transforming the metal of politics
into the honey of poetry,” (*)
leaving the stunned group with the words of Tagore:
“where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way....”
She smiles her deep disarming smile, and leaves the podium,
the world irrevocably changed in her wake.

Annelinde Metzner     

(* quote from Paula Di Perna, Women’s E-News)
April 26, 2013

Click here for a full article on Christiane Taubira's historical speech, which inspired the legalization of same-sex marriage in France on April 23, 2013.

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