France: Dueling Rallies In Paris, As Anti-Gay Violence Continues

Written by scott on April 22nd, 2013

ParisAs the French assembly gets ready for its final vote on marriage equality tomorrow, activist for and against gay marriage held rallies in Paris on Sunday. Pink News reports:

The marchers, estimated at 50,000, walked through Montparnasse, while thousands of counter-protesters showed their support for marriage equality legislation at a smaller gathering in Bastille Square. Among the anti-equality protesters were the head of the Christian Democratic Party, Christine Boutin, and far-right leader Gilbert Collard, who marched together behind a banner. Camille, a 32-year-old mother, told the AFP: “We’ve been to all the protests. We’re here for children’s rights. We don’t want the state to be complicit in a child being deprived of a father or a mother.”

Joe.My.God reports on the counter protesters – those in favor of marriage equality:

Thousands gathered on Sunday at the Plac de la Bastille in Paris to show their support for a new bill to legalise gay marriage. The gathering took place at the same time as opponents of the legislation marched towards the National Assembly. France’s LGBT community accuse those who oppose the law of being homophobic. They say a nation such as France, whose national motto is “liberty, equality and fraternity,” should not question the need for such a law.

Zach Ford at Think Progress reports on the escalating violence by the anti-gay forces:

As the French National Assembly prepares to vote on final approval of marriage equality, anti-gay violence has severely escalated. Multiple guerrilla rallies by opponents of the law have taken place over the past few days, resulting in vandalized cars, assaulted journalists, and even death threats to lawmakers. A 24-year-old gay man was brutally beaten Saturday night after leaving a club with his boyfriend in the latest example of how the opposition is directly targeting gay people.Police have already made over 100 arrests over the past week.

Now, the president of the National Assembly has received a death threat: Claude Bartolone, the Socialist president of France’s Assemblee Nationale (lower house of parliament) on Monday received a threatening letter containing gunpowder and demanding he defer a parliamentary vote, expected to definitively legalize gay marriage on Tuesday. The one-page letter, signed by “an intermediary of law enforcement,” warns Bartolone that “our methods are more radical and more swift than protests”, according to French magazine L’Express. The document concludes with the statement “You wanted war, and you’ve got it.”

The anti-gay marriage folks only tarnish their cause with such tactics. Over at On Top Magazine, they report that more than 100 activists were arrested during yesterday’s protest

Police have arrested more than 100 people as activists damaged cars and public property and attacked police officers and two journalists, The Local reported. On Sunday, tens of thousands joined a demonstration in Paris. Organizers said they expected between 30,000 and 50,000 people to join the march.

One more day until the final vote.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in France.

 

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