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France Votes Yes to Loving Anyone and Taking a Day Off to Celebrate!


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You’ve likely already heard that France is now the 14th country to approve marriage equality and the bill that was passed yesterday also allows adoption by same-sex couples. Opponents were not happy, rallying outside the National Assembly and vowing to continue their pursuit against the newly passed measure, trying to convince the council that “marriage is a constitutional issue.” Fat chance.

Meanwhile things got a bit rough last night between protestors and riot police. They threw glass bottles, cans and metal bars at the police. These are nice folks, right?

And you can bet there are now lots of weddings in the planning stages! And you’re going to love this: New York City reported a major boost in economy (by $259 million) during the first year after it was legalized there. Mayor Bloomberg was happy saying “Marriage equality has made our City more open, inclusive and free — and it has also helped to create jobs and support our economy,” and I’ll be Mayor Delanoë will be, too! We could use a little boost in economy here in France! No?

It’s not that I want to dwell on this issue and forget that we have a beautiful city out there to enjoy and share, but the issue has been all pervasive. Few other issues have taken on such fervor. One I can remember was when the law on secularity passed banning conspicuous religious symbols worn in French public primary and secondary schools. The bill was passed in March 2004 and all hell broke loose on Paris streets. While the law did not target any particular religion, it made the most impact on the wearing of headscarves “considered by most Muslims to be an obligatory article of faith as part of modesty by Muslim schoolgirls.”

By next week, some of the backlash should have died down while everyone is thinking about taking a day off of work — May 1st. It’s Labor Day in France (Fête du Travail) and therefore a time to celebrate labor by not laboring. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses will be closed, thanks to the the holiday that became official in 1948.

If the good weather holds up, it will be a great day for a picnic in the parks. To add to the tradition, give someone a bouquet of lily-of-the-valley. The story goes that King Charles IX was offered lily-of-the-valley flowers on May 1st, 1561 and decided to present them to the ladies of the court every year after on May 1st. The custom is common in Paris where individuals and organizations sell bouquets on the street without paying tax or complying with retail regulations. Can you imagine!?

A la prochaine…

adrian by ESL-4-13Adrian Leeds

Director of The Adrian Leeds Group, LLC

(photo by Erica Simone)

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P.S. Fans of House Hunters International — be sure to mark May 16th on your calendars and plan to watch the newest episode “La Vie en Paris, France“! After transferring to Paris for her dream job five years ago, Abby Gordon was ready to purchase an apartment to call her own. We helped her navigate the Paris property market to balance her idea of perfection and her budget. Tune in May 16th for all the action!

24-4-13ESLNepalPSP.P.S. Parler Paris photographer Erica Simone heads to Nepal today — once a year, she tries to pick a place in the world that grabs her interest and go alone for a month to live. This time, it’s Nepal. Follow her month of adventures via her blog, visit her Web site or on Facebook

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