Action film star Jean-Claude Van Damme has been accused of bigotry after sparring with the French minister for gender equality on issues surrounding gay marriage and feminism.
The Belgian actor, who has starred in such films as Street Fighter, Sudden Death, and The Expendables 2, locked horns with French Minister for Gender Equality Marlène Schiappa during a guest appearance on France’s ‘On n’est pas couch’ talk show on Saturday. Schiappa accused the actor of “mansplaining” after he took issue with women focusing on pursuing careers instead of raising families. Van Damme argued that women should focus on child-rearing, while it is a man’s responsibility to provide for his family.
The conversation became more heated after Schiappa asked Van Damme how same-sex couples factor into his stance.
“According to your theory, if a man marries another man or a woman marries a woman, how does that work?” she asked.
“Men marry other men?” Van Damme replied. “Men get married, women get married, dogs get married… Everybody is getting married and everybody is getting divorced,” he joked.
Schiappa lambasted Van Damme’s comments as “shocking,” saying that “we need to support [homosexuals] rather than mocking them, saying they are dogs.”
The actor pushed back, claiming he meant nothing of the sort.
“I have a lot of friends who are gay. If they want to get married, that’s OK,” Van Damme said. “But the question is, if all the boys marry each [other] and all the women marry each other, how are we going to have children?”
« Ce que vous venez de faire Jean-Claude Van Damme, c’est du mansplaining. C’est-à-dire quand un homme interrompt une femme pour lui expliquer qu’il sait mieux qu’elle des choses sur son propre domaine d’expertise. » @MarleneSchiappa #ONPC pic.twitter.com/v6rpbHLkEz
— En Marche (@enmarchefr) June 30, 2018
According to media reports, France’s ombudsman for broadcasting standards, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), has already received approximately 20 complaints about Van Damme’s comments on the program, and plans to investigate whether the actor violated any broadcast standards.
In other gay marriage news, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to weigh in on a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court expressing that the nation’s highest court has not made clear whether the “spouses” of homosexual government workers are entitled to benefits.
The nine justices denied the appeal of Turner v. Pidgeon without comment on Monday, along with dozens of other petitions for certiorari from across the country.
“We are very excited about our win today in front of the United States Supreme Court. The court decision confirms that the Texas Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision reversing the Court of Appeals was correct,” attorney Jared Woodfill said in a statement.
As previously reported, in 2013, Houston Mayor Annise Parker issued an order that required the city to provide benefits to homosexual city workers “legally married” out-of-state as same-sex nuptials were illegal in Texas at the time.
The following month, a pastor and an accountant filed suit against the city, stating that Parker’s order violated the Houston city charter, the Texas Defense of Marriage Act and the state Constitution.
“We’re grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed our lawsuit to go forward,” Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz, who is representing Pidgeon and Hicks, said in a statement on Monday. “Mayor Annise Parker defied the law by providing spousal benefits to same-sex couples at a time when same-sex marriage was illegal in Texas, and we intend hold the city accountable for Parker’s lawless actions and her unauthorized expenditures of taxpayer money.”
Sarah Kate Ellis of the homosexual advocacy group GLAAD decried the court’s denial as permitting other similar lawsuits at the state level.
“The Supreme Court has just let an alarming ruling by the Texas Supreme Court stand which plainly undercuts the rights of married same-sex couples,” she stated, according to the Dallas Observer. “Today’s abnegation by the nation’s highest court opens the door for an onslaught of challenges to the rights of LGBTQ people at every step.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 4th, 2018