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Marriage Equality

Jean-Claude Van Damme Likens Marriage Equality to Bestiality

Jean Claude Van Damm argued with French Minister of Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa about gender roles and marriage equality on a late night French talk show.

The Belgian actor's comments were prompted by an argument about marriage equality and questions about his previous statements on "traditional" marriage.

Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme likened homosexuality to bestiality in an argument with French Minister of Gender Equality Marlene Schiappa about gender and marriage equality Saturday on the French late-night show On n'est pas Couche.

The argument about marriage equality was prompted by Schiappa's questions regarding Van Damme's earlier remarks about gender roles and marriage. Van Damme, who had said he was raised with "traditional values," said he believes it is the man's responsibility to "feed his family."

"There are women who like to work, like you, and who can do both things, take care of children and work," Van Damme said, according to Paris Match. "There are women who like to stay at home; they want to stay at home, they like children. If all women are working, what are they doing at home?"

This prompted Schiappa to ask how, according to his understanding of marriage dynamics, same-sex couples would divide their responsibilities.

Van Damme likened same-sex marriage to the coupling of dogs, saying, "Women marry each other. Men marry each other. Dogs marry each other. Everyone marries everyone, and everyone divorces!"

Belgium legalized same-sex marriage in 2003, becoming the second country in the world to do so, after the Netherlands. France, the 13th country in the world to establish marriage equality, did so in 2013. Belgium and France are among the 10 most LGBT-friendly European countries, according to Rainbow Europe.

"Zoosexual activity" has been illegal in Belgium since 2007, and in France since 2004.

Schiappa said that the last time someone -- a politician from the far-right party National Front -- made a comparison between homosexuality and zoophilia in France, they were convicted under anti-hate speech laws.

Van Damme said he had gay friends, but questioned the legitimacy of same-sex marriages.

"But the real question is if all the boys marry each other, and all the women marry each other, how are we going to have any more children?" he said.

Van Damme, who won his fame through acting and martial arts, has been referenced on Sense8, a Netflix series known for its plethora of LGBT characters and its reversal of traditional gender dynamics. One of the characters drives a bus called "Van Damn" and sometimes goes by the alias "Van Damme."

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