However, Bertrand Delanoë, the socialist mayor of
The two-minute light show was accompanied by “Asimbonanga,” a Zulu/English song paying tribute, the mayor said, to ailing former South Africa president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela., who will be 95 on Thursday.
It is not clear why the Bastille Day festivities, which the mayor himself acknowledged beforehand were a celebration of “The Republic,” included a nod to
Pro-marriage supporters booed and pro-gay advocates cheered when the iconic symbol of
“The mayor has taken the responsibility to place
But many on both sides of the marriage debate found the mayor’s comments unconvincing.
The debate migrated to Twitter, with many denouncing LBGT “propaganda” and others praising what one user called a “little wink towards marriage for all.”
One translated tweet said: "I am gay and I find the LBGT colors on the Eiffel Tower Lamentable! What can the government be searching but to divide the French?"
With the technocolor lights still illuminating the iconic tower, the song “Sabali” by the Malian band Amadou and Miriam began playing. The translated lyrics are:
“If you love someone, patience is worth everything
If you love a man, patience is worth everything
If you love a woman, patience is worth everything
Patience, patience, patience is good.”
Bastille Day, as it is known in the English-speaking world, is the French national holiday commemorating the July 1789 siege of the fortified prison La Bastille by angered revolutionaries. The equivalent of the American Fourth of July, the event marked the beginning of
This isn’t the first time the iconic French radio tower and tourist hot-spot has become center stage for political protests surrounding the debate over gay marriage. In April of this year, opponents of gay marriage displayed letters on poster boards from within the
Despite widespread opposition from those in favor of maintaining a traditional standard of marriage, on May 18th France became the 13th country to allow gay couples to wed.