Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

French mayor faces jail time for refusing to conduct gay couple’s wedding

From the NY Daily News.

Excerpt:

Jean-Michel Colo stirred up controversy by becoming the first French official to formally refuse to officiate at the wedding of a gay couple, Jean-Michel Martin and Guy Martineau-Espel. The Arcangues mayor’s actions defied a landmark French law allowing same-sex unions.

Two men are suing the mayor of a French village for refusing to marry them, in the first reported legal action over same-sex marriage since it was legalized in May amid strong, sometimes violent opposition.

Guy Martineau-Espel and Jean-Michel Martin, both in their 50s, filed a legal complaint against the mayor for refusing to marry them at the town hall of Arcangues, a village in southwestern France where the couple has lived for a decade.

“We will fight this battle to the finish,” Martineau-Espel told Reuters.

France adopted legislation in May that allows gay and lesbian couples to marry and adopt children, following in the footsteps of 13 other countries.

But the move divided opinion in France and came at a political price for the already unpopular government of President Francois Hollande.

Opponents of the law, led by Catholics and conservatives, staged mass street protests, some of which ended in violence, and the debate was also blamed for a spate of homophobic attacks in the mainly Catholic country.

Weddings in France are conducted by mayors or their deputies at town halls, of which there are about 36,000.

The couple in Arcangues applied to marry in May but the right-wing mayor, Jean-Michel Colo, turned them down.

Colo was summoned earlier this week by a government official and told to apply the law. He asked for more time to consider his options, prompting the couple to take action.

A refusal to comply with the gay marriage law could mean Colo faced up to five years in jail and a fine of up to 75,000 euros ($98,000).

“Even if in the end we manage to get married, we will stay the course with our legal complaint,” said Martineau-Espel.

This is pretty standard for countries that legalize gay marriage. You can just look at these examples from Canada, for confirmation that this is what happens after a country legalizes gay marriage. And they all promise that religious liberty will be protected before it’s passed, too. It’s even happening in Massachusetts.

Do you believe Obama when he says that our religious liberty will be protected even if marriage is redefined to include gay marriage, polygamy and polyamory? I think you can believe Obama as much about that as you can believe him about being able to keep your health care plan or about the Benghazi attack being caused by a Youtube video. The man’s a pathological liar, and that’s been proven over and over again.

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Socialism in France: economy contracts by largest amount in four years

Here’s the BBC with some bad news for Europe.

Excerpt:

Germany’s economy slowed to “near stagnation” last month, while France’s recorded its biggest contraction for four years, according to a closely watched survey.

The Markit composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which measures both the manufacturing and services sectors, declined to 50.6 in Germany last month, from 53.3 in February.

Any figure above 50 indicates growth.

France’s reading fell to 41.9 points, its worst since March 2009.

For the eurozone as a whole, the index fell to 46.5 from 47.9 in February.

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the latest data painted a gloomy picture.

“The [eurozone] recession is deepening once again as businesses report that they have become increasingly worried about the region’s debt crisis and political instability,” he said.

“The unresolved election in Italy was commonly cited as a key factor clouding the economic outlook in March, and the botched bail-out of Cyprus could well filter through to a further worsening of business sentiment across the region in April.”

Mr Williamson added that the weak showing from Germany “suggests that the only source of bright light in an otherwise gloomy region has once again begun to fade”.

Germany’s index reading was the worst in the country for three months.

The French socialist government has also been rocked by a scandal:

It is hard to think of a worse scandal for the Socialist government in France. As “President Normal” and “Mr Fair”, François Hollande’s whole being and essence was to crack down on tax evasion and financial corruption, making the wealthy pay their share in dragging France out of its economic woes. Riding his scooter, living in his modest flat and taking a salary cut, Hollande had promised that, unlike Nicolas Sarkozy before him, his presidency would be “exemplary”, squeaky clean, and totally just.

But now Jerome Cahuzac, the trusted tax tsar and budget minister who had vigorously led Hollande’s crusade against fraudsters and tax-dodging millionaires, has made a shock confession of his own monumental fraud. With investigators and journalists closing in on the truth, he admitted hiding €600,000 (£509,000) from the taxman in a secret foreign account for 20 years. Not only that; Cahuzac had spent the past four months repeatedly lying on TV and to parliament, where he insisted from the government benches: “I do not have, I have never had, an account abroad, not now, not ever.”

Last year, France decided to elect a socialist prime minister named Francois Hollande, and then the people of France voted to give him a socialist majority in Parliament. And now we are seeing the results of that decision. Hollande’s priorities are things like a 75% income tax rate, hiring 60,000 new unionized teachers, lowering the retirement age back to 60, and massive spending on government-owned housing. It doesn’t look like his plan is working to grow the French economy.

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Hundreds of thousands of citizens protest against same-sex marriage in France

From the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

Holding aloft ancient flags and young children, hundreds of thousands of people converged Sunday on the Eiffel Tower to protest the French president’s plan to legalize gay marriage and thus allow same-sex couples to adopt and conceive children.

The opposition to President Francois Hollande’s plan has underscored divisions among the secular-but-Catholic French, especially more traditional rural areas versus urban enclaves. But while polls show the majority of French still support legalizing gay marriage, that backing gets more lukewarm when children come into play.

The protest march started at three points across Paris, filling boulevards throughout the city as demonstrators walked three miles to the grounds of France’s most recognizable monument. Paris police estimated the crowd at 340,000, making it one of the largest demonstrations in Paris since an education protest in 1984.

“This law is going to lead to a change of civilization that we don’t want,” said Philippe Javaloyes, a literature teacher who was bused in with 300 people from Franche Comte in the far east. “We have nothing against different ways of living, but we think that a child must grow up with a mother and a father.”

Public opposition spearheaded by religious leaders has chipped away at the popularity of Mr. Hollande’s plan in recent months. About 52 percent of French favor legalizing gay marriage, according to a survey released Sunday, down from as high as 65 percent in August.

[...]Harlem Desir, the leader of Mr. Hollande’s Socialist Party, said the protest would not affect the proposal’s progress. The Socialists control parliament, and a vote is expected by the end of January.

“The right to protest is protected in our country, but the Socialists are determined to give the legal right to marry and adopt to all those who love each other,” he said. “This is the first time in decades in our country that the right and the extreme right are coming into the streets together to deny new rights to the French.”

Isn’t interesting that the same political party that loves high tax rates also wants to redefine traditional marriage? Why is that?

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Two-thirds of British millionaires disappeared after income tax increase on the rich

What happens when you “tax the rich”, like Obama wants to do?

The UK Telegraph explains what actually happens when you tax the rich.

Excerpt:

Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from Britain after the introduction of the 50p top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.

In the 2009-10 tax year, more than 16,000 people declared an annual income of more than £1 million to HM Revenue and Customs.

This number fell to just 6,000 after Gordon Brown introduced the new 50p top rate of income tax shortly before the last general election.

The figures have been seized upon by the Conservatives to claim that increasing the highest rate of tax actually led to a loss in revenues for the Government.

It is believed that rich Britons moved abroad or took steps to avoid paying the new levy by reducing their taxable incomes.

[...]Last night, Harriet Baldwin, the Conservative MP who uncovered the latest figures, said: “Labour’s ideological tax hike led to a tax cull of millionaires.

Far from raising funds, it actually cost the UK £7 billion in lost tax revenue.

Similarly in France, with their Socialist leader’s 75% top tax rate: (worse than Obama!)

A flood of top-end properties are hitting the market as businessmen seek to leave France before stiff tax hikes hit, real estate agents and financial advisors say.

“It’s nearly a general panic. Some 400 to 500 residences worth more than one million euros ($1.3 million) have come onto the Paris market,” said managers at Daniel Feau, a real-estate broker that specialises in high-end property.

[...]While the Socialists’ plan to raise the tax rate to 75 percent on income above 1.0 million euros per year has generated the most headlines, a sharp increase in taxes on capital gains from the sales of stock and company stakes is pushing most people to leave, according Didier Bugeon, head of the wealth manager Equance.

French entrepreneurs have complained vociferously against a proposal in the Socialist’s 2013 budget to increase the capital gains tax on sales of company stakes, which they argue will kill the market for innovative start-up companies in France.

Entrepreneurs in the high-tech sector in particular often invest their own money and take low salaries in the hope they can later sell the company for a large sum.

They say a stiff increase in capital gains tax would remove incentives to do this in France. They also argue that capital has already been taxed several times in the making.

Rich people are not stupid. If you change the rules of the game, they make adjustments. Why on Earth would anyone keep working as hard as before when the government takes more of what they earn and gives it away to left-wing special interest groups? You either stop working as hard as before or you leave the country entirely. Rich people are not our slaves.

We let people keep the profits they make so that they will risk their capital and try to invent new things and create jobs. If we don’t let them keep their profits, then they will not save, invest, take risks and create jobs. People who depend on “Obamaphones” don’t create jobs. Only rich people do. And the more you tax the rich, the fewer jobs you will have. That’s the way the world really works. Taking money from those who work and giving it to those who don’t sounds “nice”, but it doesn’t actually help the poor. What helps the poor is having a job, not giving them free stuff paid for by others who work. You should not be able to make more money by not working than by working in this country, either.

Remember what happened when Reagan and Bush cut taxes? Massive drops in unemployment and higher revenues from taxes.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday night movie: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1934)

Here’s tonight’s movie:

IMDB mean rating: [7.9/10]

IMDB median rating: [8/10]

Description:

“The Scarlet Pimpernel” is the alias of an 18th century English aristocrat, who leads a double life. He appears to be merely the effete aristocrat, but in reality is part of an underground effort to free French nobles from Robespierre’s Reign of Terror. Based on the novel by Baroness Orczy.

Sink me, this one of my favorite movies, and full of high adventure!

Happy Friday!

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