The French version of Elle magazine is dedicating its new issue to same-sex marriage, and editorial director Valérie Toranian is using the “Marriage for all!” issue to endorse marriage equality. Toranian notes that Elle has always fought for the rights of women, and it demonizes their bodies when opponents of equality use arguments that also attack surrogacy and adoption, making it confusing who is on which side of the issue:
This debate is not primarily between old and modern, right and left, homophobes and progressives: there are gay, pro-marriage Catholics [on the] left, and right-leaning psychologists fiercely attached to the symbolism of gender difference as a necessity for any potential child. There are feminists who advocate for IVF for lesbians, but who oppose surrogate mothers for gays because they denounce the commodification of women’s bodies.
The confusing messages on the issue in France are further clouded by the influence of the National Organization for Marriage, which is testing some of its new strategies there, such as highlighting gay people opposed to marriage equality. By emphasizing the biological relationships of mothers and fathers, such campaigns alienate not only same-sex couples, but any couple who is raising children that they have adopted, fostered, or used a surrogate mother to bear. Elle should be commended not just for taking a good position on LGBT equality, but for recognizing the other implications of the debate.