French schools could replace ‘mother’ and ‘father’ with ‘parent 1’ and ‘parent 2’ under new anti-discrimination law

Move opposed by conservatives who labelled it 'frightening'

Olivia Petter
Monday 18 February 2019 14:46 GMT
Many assume if they don't write a will, their estate goes automatically to their dearest
Many assume if they don't write a will, their estate goes automatically to their dearest

France’s National Assembly has passed a law that will see the removal of the labels “mother” and “father” from forms used in the country’s schools.

The amendment made to the nation’s School of Trust Bill would see the terms be replaced with “parent 1” and “parent 2” in a move designed to avoid discriminating against same-sex parents.

The decision was widely supported by the majority La République en Marche Party, which was founded by French President Emmanuel Macron.

“This amendment aims to root in law children’s family diversity in administrative forms submitted in school,” said Valérie Petit, an MP who tabled the amendment, claiming that the previous law did not take into account the existence of same-sex parents.

“We have families who find themselves faced with tick boxes stuck in rather old-fashioned social and family models. For us, this article is a measurement of social equality,” she added.

However, some French conservative MPs disagree with the principle of the ruling.

MP Fabien Di Filippo, for example, who is deputy general secretary for The Republican party, described the amendment as a “frightening ideology,” reports The Daily Telegraph, “which in the name of limitless egalitarianism promotes removing points of reference, including those regarding the family”.

Meanwhile, MEP Nicolas Bay, member of France’s right-wing National Rally party expressed his views on Twitter, writing: "One father, one mother! Stop theis pseudo-'progressive' delirium! #Parent1Parent2”.

Right-wing Twitter users concurred, with one person writing that the concept of abolishing "mother" and "father" labels is "dehumanising".

Others queried how parents would decide who was number one and who was number two.

The amendment says: "To prevent discrimination, school enrolment, class registers, parental authorisations and all other official forms involving children must mention only Parent 1 and Parent 2."

It was first mentioned by French government officials in 2013, when same-sex marriage was legalised in the country.

The amendment could still be rejected by the French Senate, but would then go back to the National Assembly for a final reading.

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