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French Anti-Gay Protests Turn Violent

Jim Burroway

April 18th, 2013

France is in the midst of a national debate over marriage equality, with anti-gay activists predicting — and even advocating — violence in the streets if they don’t get their way. That violence has already occurred in the past month, and it now looks like it’s spreading:

Meanwhile in the northern city of Lille, three employees of a gay bar were insulted and injured late Wednesday in an attack by four men who smashed its windows. The bar’s owner linked the incident to “tensions” surrounding the parliament vote.

“I was hit by a chair,” thrown through the window, he told AFP.

Police later detained the suspects.

Ongoing right-wing protests in Paris and Versailles against the marriage equality bill have also turned violent:

Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned acts of violence during the protests “in spite of promises made by the organisers”.

Several people were detained for questioning after cars and public property were damaged and police officers and journalists attacked, said Valls. Police put the number of detentions at 11. … The day before, some 2,700 opponents had gathered in Versailles outside the capital to protest the bill, leading to scuffles with police.

Police also detained twenty-four counter protesters at an anti-homophobia counter-protest.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and President Francois Hollande have condemned the violence and called for calm:

“Homophobic acts, violent acts have been committed. The right to protest is recognised by our constitution and accepted by the French. But no protest must degenerate,” Hollande said.

The National Assembly, Parliament’s lower house, began debate on the Senate’s final version of the marriage equality bill late Wednesday, and is expected to take its final vote on April 23. Opponents have promised more mass demonstrations next week.

Comments

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Ben in Oakland
April 18th, 2013 | LINK

I’ll be in Paris next week. I’ll try to send some dispatches. Should be interesting.

Ben In Oakland
April 18th, 2013 | LINK

I just caught a minute of an old movie. don’t know the name of it. The gangster is saying to the shop owner:

“This sure is a nice place you have here. Real nice. It would be a terrible shame if something, uh, happened to it.”

Caridnal 23, are we talking to you?

markanthony
April 18th, 2013 | LINK

Its called the “Heckler Veto” in 1st Amendment law.

Hunter
April 18th, 2013 | LINK

And aren’t the anti-gays calling for armed rebellion if the Supreme Court comes to the “wrong” decision on Prop 8 and DOMA? Looks like France is their test drive.

Robert
April 18th, 2013 | LINK

Hunter,

I agree. I said as much the other day and was told the Culture War was only a metaphor. I tried to express that the extremists do not see it rationally as we might, but will start an actual physical war over this. And yes, The anti-gays are calling for rebellion over this in the USA, first with the Manhattan Decleration and recently with Pat Buchanan calling for “civil disovbedience” over gay rights laws. The leaders always foment violence but under the guise of “civil disobedience” so that they can then claim they are innocent when the physical actions come about.

The sustained dilouge approach doesn’t seem too far fetced anymore. In fact, it seems like an imperative.

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