Posts Tagged ‘germany’
International media have begun converging on the “French San Francisco” where the country’s first official gay wedding is due to take place Wednesday amid tight security and fears of protests after months of opposition that saw tens of thousands take to the streets.
Vincent Autin, 40, and Bruno Boileau, 30, will exchange vows at the city hall in the southern city of Montpellier at 1530 GMT in the presence of hundreds of guests, including the Socialist government’s spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.
Vallaud-Belkacem said she was attending the ceremony as a private citizen and not a state representative7, after the government backed away from sending officials fearing it would be accused of politicising the event.
[. . .]
Opponents have vowed to protest at the marriage in Montpellier, known as the “French San Francisco” for its gay-friendly reputation, and authorities have called in up to 100 police, with another 80 in reserve, to provide security.
“It is an exceptional event and we want everything to go as smoothly as possible,” said Frederic Loiseau of the local prefect’s office.
San Francisco is the origin of the trope, used in reference to cities of importance–not necessarily in the first tier of a country’s urban hierarchy, maybe even not the second, but a regional centre nonetheless–with a tradition of special liberalism. I’ve heard Cologne (German Köln) described as Germany’s San Francisco–see JD Van Zyl’s 2010 Pink News article and on the talk page for Wikitravel’s profile of the city.
Does this work for every country? I can’t think of Canada having a San Francisco-type city–Toronto and Montréal and Vancouver are too large. Can the trope work only in countries of a certain size, which have the population base necessary for a diversified urban hierarchy that provides relatively small groups with convenient potential niches?
- In one of his first posts since moving back to Toronto, Acts of Minor Treason’s Andrew Barton describes coming across the immediate aftermath of a terrible accident (or “accident”) at Union station and wondering about the lack of empathy expressed by commuters.
- Bag News Notes features a post from South Side Chicago resident and photographer Jon Lowenstein, who caught the immediate aftermath of a shooting in his neighbourhood.
- Centauri Dreams’ Paul Gilster describes the dreams of American rocket pioneer robert Goddard of interstellar migrations.
- At Crooked Timber, Eric Rauchway documents that Keynes’ concern about the consequences of war indemnities on the economies of Germany and central Europe long predated any sexual affair with Germans.
- Daniel Drezner notes how off-base Marc Lynch’s statement that the ongoing war in Syria undermines a pleasant narrative of the Arab Spring is, since there was plenty of suffering beforehand.
- Extraordinary Observations’ Rob Pitingolo doesn’t like it when cyclists are in too much of a hurry pay attention to red lights, other vehicle drivers too.
- At Lawyers, Guns and Money, B. Spencer argues that guns in the United States are much more a fetishistic icon of belonging than anything else like resisting government oppression.
- Mark Simpson reposts his 2001 review of Niall Ferguson’s book The Cash Nexus.
- Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen notes that Jamaica has seen sustained austerity for decades and also flat economic growth. Connection? And what of Europe?
- Torontoist notes that plans for a proposed shopping centre in Kensington Market along Bathurst Street have been released. Controversy will ensue.
- Window on Eurasia notes statistics suggesting that only 3% of Russians attended the Russian Orthodox Church’s Easter services.
Written by Randy McDonald
May 8, 2013 at 4:22 pm
Tagged with arab spring, bathurst street, biking, central europe, chicago, christianity, cities, crime, cycling, Demographics, disasters, economics, first world war, former soviet union, futurology, germany, glbt issues, history, jamaica, kensington market, keynes, middle east, niall ferguson, orthodox christianity, politics, popular culture, religion, robert goddard, russia, space science, subways, syria, toronto, ttc, united states, Urban Note, war