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France’s beating victim becomes face of marriage movement

Timothy Kincaid

April 11th, 2013

As France concludes its drive towards equality, a victim of a homophobic beating has become the face of the movement. Earlier this week, Wilfred de Bruijn was beaten unconscious by anti-gay hooligans, and equality supporters have used pictures of his cut and bruised face in placards at rallies and social media to show the nation the consequences of the Catholic Church’s message of opposition.

Anti-gay activists, such as those at the National Organization for Marriage (which has strongly pushed and promoted France’s anti-marriage movement), pretend that they only support the sanctity of marriage. They seek to distinguish their marriage-for-anyone-but-gays movement from the motivations and attitudes that lead to violence against gay people, asserting (despite significant evidence to the contrary) that they love gay people, they just are looking out for children.

But de Bruijn very eloquently ties it together: (WaPo)

“What (the anti-gay marriage campaign) are saying is that they’re not homophobic: lesbians and gays are nice people, but don’t let them get close to children — that’s very dangerous. It’s OK for them to live together, but not like other couples with the same protection because it’s not really the same thing,” De Bruijn said.

“These people are all professionals of the spoken word. They know very well what can happen if you repeat, repeat, repeat that these people are lower human beings. Of course it will have a result.”

When such things as these happen, the anti-gays rush to denounce the specific act and claim no connection. “No, we love the homosexual, don’t blame us for the beatings and the expressions of hatred.”

But the connection is clear. The increased anti-gay hate speech surrounding the 2004 anti-gay presidential campaign in the US, the murder of David Kato following the Kampala Conference, and the spike in anti-gay violence in France now are not coincidental.

“It was not Frigide Barjot who was hitting my head, or the bishop of Avignon lurking in that street to attack us,” he said. “But they are responsible.”

Comments

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Hunter
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

“When such things as these happen, the anti-gays rush to denounce the specific act and claim no connection.”

Their reaction is more likely to be “we deplore violence” without ever mentioning a specific incident, because of course, it has nothing to do with them. And they’re not really sorry it happened. Or they’ll attack their critics, much as Tony Perkins did over Dan Savage’s “sitting on a pile of dead teenagers” remark.

Marcus
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

To be fair, anti-gay violence was endemic long before the gay rights movement, and thus its opposition, came into being.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Marcus-

That doesn’t make a difference since the issue is more about how the animus is growwing and act of violence have INCREASED dramaticlly since these arguments and vitriol have increased. The increase is mesuravle and thus valid and important in the current debate.

Marcus
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

@Robert: True. I guess I was thinking more of the centuries-ago, burning-at-the-stake days.

Reed
April 12th, 2013 | LINK

Ah, I see Brian Brown’s little visit a couple of months ago has born the kind of rabid mobs that I suspect he secretly dreams of while polishing up his Knights of Columbus sword.

Rob
April 12th, 2013 | LINK

Marcus and Robert, I don’t think we know if violence has increased since before a gay rights movement, no one kept track and the victims were either dead or not willing to invite more attacks by reporting to the police. Most of those attacks were not reported or were mislabelled.

That aside, we do know that attacks such as this one can be tied to specific movements such as opposition to gays in France or the others cited by Hunter. It is the habit of movements that daemonise opponents to pretend that violence done to their opponents has nothing to do with them or their fear-mongering and hate-mongering. Any movement that is against an entire class of people simply for existing and expecting equality are cowardly at their core.

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