France: Gay couple beaten in Paris for walking arm in arm
France: Gay couple beaten in Paris for walking arm in arm
by Corinne Pinfold, 8 April 2013, 5:30pm
A gay couple were badly beaten in Paris on Saturday, in an incident which campaigners say is symptomatic of a 30% rise in homophobic attacks in France since debates on same-sex marriage began.
Wilfred de Bruijn said on Facebook that he and his boyfriend were attacked in Paris on Saturday night, and claimed they were targeted for walking arm in arm.
He posted a photograph hours after the incident, showing injuries including a missing tooth and skull fracture. It has since been circulated on social media by thousands of people.
“Sorry to show you this,” he wrote. “It’s the face of homophobia. Last night 19th arrondissement, Paris, Olivier and I were badly beaten just for walking arm in arm. I woke up in an ambulance covered in blood, missing tooth and broken bones around the eye. I’m home now. Very sad.”
The President of gay rights group SOS Homophobie, Elizabeth Ronzier, told The Local: “This was a shocking and incredibly violent incident. We have seen a 30% rise in the number of homophobic incidents since October.
“This is a result of the opposition towards the gay marriage bill,” she added. “These people say they are not homophobic but they are. Homophobia has become trivialized, which is proved by the number of verbal assaults on gay people, which often to lead to physical assaults.”
Anti-same sex marriage group Manif pour Tous, who have organised several large-scale protests in recent months, said Ms Ronzier’s comments were unfounded.
“Groups like SOS Homophobia should be ashamed for trying to blame us for these acts,” said Xavier Bongibault on behalf of Manif pour Tous.
“We strongly condemn this act of violence but there is no link whatsoever to the Manif pour Tous. We have said since the beginning that we are not against homosexuals, we are simply against the government’s legislation.”
Manif pour Tous’ recent march attracted 300,000 protesters, some of whom were tear gassed after trying to break through police lines.
Last week the French Senate began debating proposed equal marriage legislation, while hundreds protested outside waving flags that read “Jobs, not gay marriage”.
I don't understand at all????
I thought Canada and Western Europe were paradises, as constantly asserted by liberal Americans?
I thought the arm in arm thing was fairly common in France. Cheek kissing is a common greeting. Was it a Muslim immigrant?
So sad, I live in Paris but I would never be walking around Metro Ourcq at 3:30 at night, even in the day it's scary.
Rumors are also appearing in some of the French gay and anti-gay sites that "according to sources near l'Elysee, Hollande is considering suspending the bill after it passes the senate." That may just be Barjot's people trying to spread lies and discouragement. But this is not a done deal. Hollande's government is in a very weak and vulnerable position and he is not a politician of great conviction. All of the "zoom, zoom" rhetoric needs to be put on hold until this actually makes it through review by the constitutional council.
Yes, Hollande and the Socialists will be to blame for the retreat on gay marriage and the ensuing anti-gay violence, but the lazy pro-gay supporters who failed to rise to the occasion with mass street demonstrations of their own are even more to blame.
Hollande’s French Presidency Was A Bad Career Move – For Everyone
April 7, 2013 at 12:08 am /
Paris: Opinion poll figures this weekend show that the French President, François Hollande, has political halitosis. Winning last year’s presidential election was not a smart career move.
Why? Very simply, the Socialist leader does not know how to be President. It’s the equivalent of putting on an Air France captain’s uniform but never taking flying lessons. Hollande doesn’t know how to get his presidency off the ground. The French, Europe’s foremost pessimists, know this.
At the election he got voters’ backing for his campaign to dump austerity in the mucky end of the Seine and create jobs. He’s failed. M. Hollande still has the ideas but he’s failed to find anyone to teach him how to translate election pledges into working policies.
It could be, of course, that Hollande, like most Socialist leaders in this the Fifth Republic, has no idea how to work the bureaucracy that supposedly supports political ambition but really does not, which is why France is ungovernable and always has been.
The only man who nearly succeeded was General Charles de Gaulle. But he did not govern, he only led. No matter how fine a personality leader, to govern is the purpose of the President. Few have got near the objective in a nation that is collectively and continuously morose and therefore impossible to govern centrally and quite impervious to the big idea. Even Valery Giscard d’Estaing, an architect of the euro, failed. Chirac? Never quite. Sarkozy? It would have been nice, but again no. Mitterrand? Probably got nearer but it took him 14 years to do so. De Gaulle? The only man for the job at the time. He was a good colonel, a self-important general and got it right about the French when he said: ‘How can anyone govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese?’
Mind you, the thankful French and all the cheese-makers named a Paris airport after him – although that was all about Free French history and not about being driven from office by sweaty and spitting students in the very late 1960s.
So it was never going to be easy for M. Hollande. He was never going to get his airport. A disused parking lot in the Paris suburbs of disgruntled North African migrant non-workers maybe, but only as political irony. His staff even tried a remake on the poor man. There was a television appearance late last month to re-launch him in the spirit of the 2012 election night fever. It was a ball. If he weren’t such a nice man – not to his ex-mistress of course – Hollande would be booed off the presidential stage. So nothing could really get worse. Of course it could. When you’re in political free fall, it can always get worse.
Hollande’s recently resigned ex-budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac lied about having an illicit bank account in Switzerland. Problem was that Hollande kept him in his job for a long time and apparently did not know about the financial washing. France asks how it can trust a President who either has no judgement about a key minister or, if he has some idea of what’s going down, does nothing about it. So much for cleaning up politics at the top as he said he would. But this lack of nous from Hollande is heading for more than a couple of we-can-reveal headlines in Figaro.
french unemployedUnemployment is well over 10 per cent of the potential workforce, maybe closer to 12 per cent. The budget deficit is sniffing 4 per cent. For these reasons alone, Hollande is losing the confidence of his country and, worse still for that country, he’s lost the support of the Germans who cannot believe that French policies are anything but inept. Chancellor Angela Merkel was never going to be a fan of Hollande’s no-austerity policy. But that policy is in tatters and she would say it’s one reason why the Eurozone is in such disarray, especially when you grasp that 57 per cent of GDP goes on state spending.
Hollande knows government spending has to be cut. He does not know how to do it.
Why are the French gays such doormats? Fight back wimps!
I know that's right, r7. Not just French gays, but French progressives are acting like total wimps. Hollande is a disaster.
France sounds like a REAL homophobic backwards shithole. So much for western Europe being laid back, huh?
r9, you can run along back to Fox News now. Bye.
What is the name of the major gay rights organization in France? They seem to have a very low profile.
r5, r7 and r8: do you mind, bitches? Before calling us lazy-ass wimps, this was made public exactly five hours ago. I'm sure you're all paragon of efficiency a l'americaine but could you give us maybe a few minutes to get ready before we go out in the streets?
r12, so why havent you guys been better mobilized to respond to the antigay marches? Where are your massive street marches?
The 19th used to be very working class - it's where waitresses and people who work in bakeries and such live.
In the 20 years since I was living there, though, it's maybe become really muslim, because the heavily muslim district used to be the area around the Goutte D'Or until the Right Bank really gentrified.
That's like a gay couple being beaten in an Ikea...or on Castro Street...or at a party hosted by Kevin Spacey!!!
[quote]I thought Canada and Western Europe were paradises, as constantly asserted by liberal Americans?
François hollande doit suspendre l'examen du projet de loi sur le mariage pour tous
[quote]I thought the arm in arm thing was fairly common in France. Cheek kissing is a common greeting. Was it a Muslim immigrant?
Oh, here we go.
Do these people look Arab??!!
[quote]France sounds like a REAL homophobic backwards shithole. So much for western Europe being laid back, huh?
Western Europe is heading back to Fascism. There is a major rise in Nazism and far Right politics.
Le Pen is making a career thanks to the return to Nationalism.
From what I can read, former Prime Minister Francois Fillon has demanded that Hollande drop his marriage equality push, among other things on Hollande's agenda. I can't find any confirmation that Hollande has indicated he will drop it, but there is concern he will with all the pressure, and the fact is that if the Senate passes it, it will have to return to the National Assembly for another vote.
r18 it's true that there were real French people in the protests but French people do not commit violence against gays. It is the Muslims that are doing this kind of horseshit all over Europe.
R1, it's certainly a lot easier to get laid, as a gay man, in my experience than in the US.
Lazy ass French gays need to start speaking up and marching and protesting all this bullshit.
[quote]but French people do not commit violence against gays. It is the Muslims that are doing this kind of horseshit all over Europe.
Oh, Christ, fuck off, nimrod!
[quote]Was it a Muslim immigrant?
Like clockwork with you fucking idiots.
Yeah, the Muslims over there have so much power. Same reason the south and the Midwest in the US are bastions for homophobia and homophobic legislation - because Muslims have so much power over there, too.
When are people like you going to realize that there are more than enough of "your kind" who don't want you having any rights, hate your fucking guts and don't want you to exist? And they're Christian.
Stop trying to blame "swarthy-looking" people for all of your problems as a gay person, moron.
"[R12], so why havent you guys been better mobilized to respond to the antigay marches? Where are your massive street marches?"
Here it is, r13. And we didn't even wait for the anti-gay marchers to have one.
More pictures from the french pro-gay marriage demonstration, featuring some of the signs.
Among the best ones:
"Jesus had two fathers too."
"Our marriage won't make you gay".
"Better a gay marriage than a sad one"
"Was I asked my opinion on your marriage?"
"Get a fucking move on, I've already picked the dress!"
and my personal favorite:
"With two queer daddies, no more badly dressed children!"
Really r28, is that all you could come up with? ONE person who for that matter doesn't even look like an Arab?
Hold me Pierre, I'm scared!
r25, the majority of these people who go right for the Arab are American, almost never French. France is a very racist, misogonistic place. Women are not suppose to report sexual harassment. This is not a country that suddenly shot to hell because of immigration.
Blacks are the reason Prop. 8 passed.
From what I've read France's gay rights organizing fell way behind America's because historically France has been tolerant of gays. So because gays were rarely tormented or ostracized in France, there was little motivation to hit the streets or organize politically. In the US there was ZERO tolerance of gays, so we had to fight for our right to exist. And so we organized in the 50s, 60s & 70s while French gays did not... because they did not need to then. This stunted them though.
Verminous subhuman arabs and african banlieue scum.
The paltry little march by the pro-gay side in December was dwarfed by the many massive antigay marches. The progay side should have realized they were being outwitted and outgunned by the anti side way back in November and galvanized to meet them in the streets. Instead, the progay side has been smugly elitist, looking down on the massive antigay sides as futile postering. Well, if media reports are true, the antigay side may get the last laugh after all.
The wimpy pro-gay side needs to toughen up and start fighting for their rights.
They should have known this would be war when NOM dispatched a team over there to aid the French anti-gay side. The American right has really been crowing about how devoted and organized the French anti-gay folks are and how support for gay marriage has plummeted because of their efforts. They looking to use France as an example how to stop and reverse marriage equality momentum. France would be their rallying cry.
You've already made 4 of the same exact comments wimpy, anonomous poster [R23, 37 etc..] we get it.
Wilfred de Bruijn, French Gay Attack Victim, Becomes Cause Celebre
(Sloppy journalism - the guy has lived in France for 10 years but is actually Dutch)
So basically France is just like the U.S. in the sense that it depends on the location and also just on dumb luck when it comes to hostility towards gays. There are tolerant places, but also places that are not so much. And, there remains a risk that even in generally tolerant places, some homophobe dumbass will act up.
Interesting article in the NYT today about a lesbian American soccer player who plays in Lyon and insists that her sexuality is a bigger deal over there, and also says that treatment of women in general can be poorer than you'd expect.
Americans have this notion that France is some socially liberal haven. It is not. It is a very chauvinistic and male-dominated society. French machismo is the norm.
Paris gays ARE wimps! I went to a popular sauna there and all the cubical beds were half length to prevent patrons using them for sleeping! If they had an ounce of self respect the money grubbing establishment would have been torched long ago!
[quote]From what I've read France's gay rights organizing fell way behind America's because historically France has been tolerant of gays. So because gays were rarely tormented or ostracized in France, there was little motivation to hit the streets or organize politically. In the US there was ZERO tolerance of gays, so we had to fight for our right to exist. And so we organized in the 50s, 60s & 70s while French gays did not... because they did not need to then. This stunted them though.
Wow, what typical American horse shit. How's life in Little Rock, darling?
Correct me if I'm wrong but as I understand it the entire French gay rights push in the 50s & early 60s was lead by conservative upper middle class and upper class pederasts. Figures like Roger Peyrefitte who were very brave (eg he outed Pope Paul VI who was forced to issue a lying public denial), but conservative in their approach. When the 'Youth Quake' happened they were left behind, and considered old hat boy botherers by the more aggressive & impatient activists. But because they had discreetly led the discourse French popularist gay activism in France was consequently very slow to take off.
I hope they can recover their looks or it will all have been for nothing.
(Reuters) - France's top Catholic bishop warned the government on Tuesday that legalization of same-sex marriage risked inciting violence at a time the country had more pressing economic and social problems to tackle.
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois told a meeting of French bishops the planned marriage reform, which the government has speeded up amid mounting pressure from opponents, was a sign that society had lost its capacity to integrate different views.
Protests against the law, led by lay groups mostly backed by the Catholic Church, have become more agitated in recent days as noisy opponents rally outside the Senate and National Assembly and harass politicians supporting the reform.
Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, said the difference between the sexes was a basic human trait and denying it by legalizing marriage and adoption for homosexuals would weaken society's ability to manage its differences peacefully.
"This is the way a violent society develops," he told the spring meeting of the French bishops' conference. "Society has lost its capacity of integration and especially its ability to blend differences in a common project."
The Socialist-led government, whose popularity has plummeted amid economic woes and a tax fraud scandal, is expected to pass the law next week to make France the 13th country to allow gays to tie the knot. Uruguay legalized gay marriage last week.
SIGNAL SOCIAL REFORM
The government decided on Monday that the law, one of the most important social reforms since France ended the death penalty in 1981, would be passed weeks earlier than planned and with a limited debate in its second reading.
Vingt-Trois accused the government of rushing the law through parliament without sufficient public debate.
"Forcing it through can simplify things for a while," he said. "To avoid paralyzing political life when there are grave economic and social decisions to take, it would have been more reasonable and simple to not have started this process."
Opponents of gay marriage have staged three large protests in Paris, with over half a million demonstrators at their height. The last one in March ended in scuffles with police.
Since then, smaller groups have staged flash protests around Paris. Some 70 people were arrested on Monday after trying to set up a protest camp outside the National Assembly.
Others have harassed pro-reform politicians by noisily protesting outside their homes at daybreak or stalking them. Some held up a high-speed train due to bring government supporters from a conference in Nantes to Paris.
Rhetoric has heated up as well, with opponents accusing President Francois Hollande of being a dictator. "Hollande wants blood and he'll get it," protest leader Frijide Barjot declared in comments she later admitted "went a bit far."
Government leaders have accused the protesters of turning radical and criticized the increasingly frequent presence of aggressive far-right nationalist and traditionalist Catholic fringe groups at the otherwise peaceful protests.
All main religious groups in France, with the exception of the Buddhists, have spoken out against marriage reform.
Vingt-Trois said the main protest marches, attended by average citizens concerned about the reform's long-term effects, did not reflect the "religious, retrograde and homophobe mania" that some of their more vocal critics ascribed to them.
Same-sex nuptials are legal in 12 countries -- Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden and Uruguay -- as well as in some parts of Mexico, Brazil and the United States.
Several other countries, including Britain, are planning to legalize it in the near future.
(Editing by Mark John)
Fascinating how the far right extremists flee their own shit hole countries and then proceed to demand that their new home become a shit hole as well. It makes no sense.
R50, that's a great observation, never thought of it that way, but you're right.
That Cardinal is irresponsible, essentially endorsing violence.
And a perfect example of that are people like the Ayatollah Khomeini who lived in exile in Paris before returning to Iran after their revolution.
Pol Pot is another despot who spent time in Paris before returning to Cambodia and unleashing his campaign of terror.
So there definitely is something to your claim.
Members of France's National Assembly came to blows yesterday as the finalization of same-sex marriage was debated. Via Pink News:
On Friday, the lower house of French National Assembly almost mirrored violent protests outside, around the issue of equal marriage, as MPs came to the end of the capped 25-hour debate around the bill which would allow equal marriage, and same sex couples the right to adopt.
Punches were reportedly thrown in the scuffle, which lasted several minutes, whilst ministers shouted “out”, “out”. One minister said he had never experienced such an incident in his 30 years in the lower house. The incident, which was attributed to fatigue and the high emotions brought on by the controversial nature of the issue, was condemned by the ruling Socialist party.
Aside from the fisticuffs, things went well for our side and the very last vote is expected to take place on Tuesday.
French parliamentarians almost came to blows on Friday as they finished debating a gay marriage bill, which has triggered violent protests and been linked to homophobic assaults.
A final, decisive vote on the bill - which would also legalise adoption by gay couples - is expected to take place on Tuesday, prompting opponents to up the ante, with protests taking place every day in Paris and other cities.
The tensions on the streets were mirrored in France's lower house - where the bill is being debated a second time after having already been approved by both the lower and upper houses - and politicians came close to blows.
In the early hours of Friday, as debate raged on, members of parliament belonging to the right-wing opposition UMP party rushed down to the government benches in response to what they said was provocation by aides of the justice minister.
Shouting "out", "out", the stand-off lasted several minutes, and punches were reportedly thrown in a scuffle that one minister said was unprecedented in his 30 years in the lower house.
The incident - blamed on fatigue and high emotions - was condemned by the ruling Socialist party.
Opponents have accused the government of rushing the bill through its final legislative stages by implementing a fast-track measure that has limited debate to 25 hours.
And while the end of the debate at around 07:00 on Friday was hailed as a "historic moment" by the Socialist speaker of the lower house National Assembly, the UMP claimed the government had made a mockery of the parliamentary process.
Meanwhile, opponents continued to protest in Paris and other cities in France, with 75 people detained on Thursday - three of whom have been accused of violence against police and theft.
On Wednesday, demonstrations also turned violent, with two journalists attacked, their equipment destroyed, and cars vandalised.
News of a fresh attack on a gay bar also emerged, with the manager and client of an establishment in the south-western city of Bordeaux assaulted overnight on Wednesday by two people, who also smashed bottles and glasses.
The attack happened on the same night as a similar incident in the northern city of Lille, where three employees of a gay bar were injured in an attack by four men who smashed the building's windows.
Yohan Jerczynski, the owner of the bar, denounced the current climate of "insecurity" on TV channel Canal Plus, saying he had never had any problems in his bar in 14 years. Three suspects were to face a fast-track trial on Friday.
President Francois Hollande has condemned the "homophobic" violence in France, and Interior Minister Manuel Valls has warned that far-right organisations are infiltrating the opposition movement, triggering unrest.
New Zealand this week voted to legalise gay marriage, making it the 13th country in the world where same-sex unions are permitted.
On Wednesday, the AFP reported two journalists from its partner channel LCP-Assemblée Nationale were attacked and their equipment was destroyed while they covered a massive protest in Paris. The broadcaster added that LCP would be filing a complaint.
Several other incidents involving attacks on journalists have been reported within the past six months.
In November, Caroline Fourest was beaten along with feminist group FEMEN. Fourest, a well-known feminist journalist, reported evidence of “anti-journalist” slogans at the protest. Around that time, Les Sociétés de Journalists (SDJ) denounced the treatment of journalists, saying:
"The reporters--all media combined--present on site were able to see the poisonous atmosphere that prevailed among the protesters against journalists. Insults, spitting, obstructing, sometimes even physical abuse. It is not an isolated element but a general atmosphere hostile to journalists. This climate is reminiscent of what many journalists had found and denounced at the last presidential campaign. "
Such aggression against the media is uncommon in France as the country enjoys a relatively free and open press. However the violence caused by protests threatens journalists from covering the news.
In response to Wednesday’s events, France’s top Catholic bishop Andre Vingt-Trois warned that legalizing same-sex marriage would incite violence.
However, with a majority in favor of same-sex marriage, the government has sped up the process and is expected to pass the laws next week. President François Hollande held a press conference on Thursday condemning the “homophobic violence.
Because the right and the extreme right are angry at having lost power, they have seized on this bill in an effort to attack and destabilize Hollande's government. They have cynically counted on monopolizing on the strong homophobia that continues to exist under the surface in France as well as channeling all frustrations and anger about the ongoing financial crisis and rising unemployment against Hollande. The French media has also been giving Frigide Barjot, the right-wing catholic harpy, an unlimited platform for spreading her simplistic anti-gay message of "one father, one mother" etc. And the socialist party has not been effective at countering the lies on these TV programs. Unlike the other countries in Western Europe, France has a strong sexist, homophobic, xenophobic reactionary right wing that is ready to jump in at the first opportunity. Remember the Petainistes. They haven't gone anywhere.
The violence serves only to hasten legalization of gay marriage.
Mind you, I reject violence in all its forms; however, the silver lining is that if you have been victimized by others who are attacking you in the service of a political aim, you are most likely to - going forward - reinforcing your own oppositional stand or, if on the fence, rejecting those aggressive views.
A poster calling for an anti-gay rights demonstration in Paris has been attacked as being racist after going viral overnight in the French Twittersphere.
The poster, designed by an anti-same sex marriage activist, depicts France’s Minister of Justice Christiane Taubira, who is black, as a raging gorilla/King Kong, overwhelmed by a flow of demonstrators from the “Manif Pour Tous,” the main anti-same sex organization. The slogan is a play on words: “manif monstre” can mean ‘giant demo.’
The picture, posted on Monday night, was retweeted and commented massively by anti-gay rights activists and by both outraged anti- and pro-same sex marriage activists.
There is backlash against gays when our rights advance. Happens in the USA too. Don't worry. It's getting better.
It could be right wing fascists, but they certainly want to court the religious crowd
"Believers or non-believers. It doesn't matter what religion. One man one woman are parents
we are all born from a man and a woman"
The Dominique Strauss-Kahn case was pretty revealing, too. They totally personally attacked the person that brought the case against him. The French coverage, which I read, was really sexist. I think they are a little backward when it comes to women/gay rights.
Hopefully, this will jolt French progressives to be more active and organized. They have been outmatched in the public discourse and media. French progressives need to be much more aggressive and public.
Nasty Country. Who knew...well we do now!
I would put money on it that it was a Muslim who did this.
If all of you Anglos going on what a horrible place France is would stay away from France, that would be just fine with a majority of the French, too. As an added benefit, they don't have to cater to your pretentious slavedriving.
So where are all the snarky, bitchy, wicked jokes here? The kind that are dished out generously in posts about women riding in a limo getting burned? I mean "gay couple beaten in Paris walking ARM IN ARM!!!! Come on DL slags, you disappoint me.
They're too busy mindlessly bashing France, R70. Haven't you read the thread?
Italy is going through similar hate speech and actions. Really ugly
Is it about gay marriage, R73?
France is full of Muslims, and other African immigrants who bring their anti-progressive attitudes with them.
Believe it or not. Or go there for yourselves.
I have been there, r75. And, I know racism and hatred for gay men has been brewing for a long time in Italy and France and has nothing to do with Muslims who are hated as well. Try going to most of remote Sicily and see what happens to an out gay man. Better yet, try finding a Muslim.
r75 = dumb American.
I hate French people. Most of them smell horrible and are pickpockets.
It's kind of shocking how ignorant the French are. They have a reputation for being sophisticated but they really are all ignorant bigots. The Parisians are the worst.
DL posters should raise money to bring the two over to the US to a totally accepting city like New York. Maybe even buy them tickets to see the Knicks. Then they can join in the massive parade in protest of the two that were beaten outside Madison Square garden. What ? No parade? No huge protest by New York gays? Damn French.
A far-right French historian shot himself in the head beside the altar of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris today apparently in protest against the legalisation of gay marriage in France.
Dominique Venner, 78, a former member of the nationalist terrorist movement, OAS, placed a pistol in his mouth and shot himself dead in front of scores of tourists inside the most visited building in France.
Mr Venner, a presenter on a Catholic-traditionalust radio station and controversial historian and essayist, posted an essay on his website earlier in the day calling for "new, spectacular and symbolic actions to shake us out of our sleep, to jolt anaesthetised minds and to reawaken memory of our origins".
His long essay was a tirade against gay marriage but also a warning that the "population of France and Europe" was going to be "replaced" and brought under "Islamist control" and "sharia law".
Mr Venner placed a sealed letter on the altar of the cathedral before shooting himself. His choice of the altar - associated with religious marriage ceremonies -appeared to be a symbolic gesture of protest against the law permitting civil gay marriages in France which took effect last weekend.
The cathedral, which is celebrating its 850th anniversary this year, was immediately evacuated and closed to the public for four hours. Efforts were made by a cathedral security guard to revive Mr Venner as he lay beside the altar for almost 20 minutes.
The rector of Notre Dame, Monsigneur Patrick Jacquin, said that, as far as he was aware, this was the first suicide within the cathedral since it was founded in the 12th century. "We will pray for this man as we pray for so many others who are at their wits' end," he said.
Notre Dame is the most visited monument in France with over 13,000,000 visiors a year. The building was, as usual, packed with tourists at the time of Mr Venner's suicide.
Legislation permitting same-sex couples to marry in French town halls was approved by the parliament last month and signed into law by President Francois(cedilla on c) Hollande last weekend after approval by France's constitutional watchdog.
The "marriage for all" law has provoked a powerful movement of middle class, conservative, religious and right-wing protest in the last four months. Another large demonstration is planned in Paris on Sunday.
The leaders of the protest movement, including most but not all leading centre-right politicians, have pilloried the law as politically-motivated attack on family and religious values and the imposition of a "new civilisation".
Mr Venner, a prolific author of books and tracts on extreme nationalist themes, has been one of many vociferous critics of the law. Some of his work as a historian has been well-received, incuding a 1981 book on the Red Army which won a prize from the Academie(acute on first e) Francaise(cedilla on c). Much of his work has been steeped in the racist ideology of the far-right, apologising for the pro-Hitler regime in Vichy in the Second World war and warning of conspiracies to destroy European civilisation and to swamp the white race.
Mr Venner was also an expert, and the author of several books, on hunting and fire-arms. In the 1960s, he was a member of the Organisation de l'Armee(acute on first e) Secrete(grave on second e) - the extreme nationalist terrorist movement which opposed the French withdrawal from Algeria and attempted several times to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle.
[quote]A far-right French historian shot himself in the head beside the altar of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris today apparently in protest against the legalisation of gay marriage in France.
And nobody gave a single fuck.
What a freak.
The thing about Paris is that it is very very very gay. Gay men are everywhere in Paris. There's also tons of Muslims and many of them are criminals, they're doing a lot of shitty things in France. While there were actual French people doing the protests too, it was not them doing the bad shit to gays it is the Muslim Africans. We all know this and it is the SAME world over in every city. Who are the criminals in your city? They are not always Muslim but they are of African descent or Latino descent for the most part. That does not mean that every African descended or Latino descended person is a sociopath but there is an element in the poorer populations of those as well as caucasians where there are sociopaths. Does poverty cause sociopathy? Is it genetic, these questions should be taken up by science imho.
r83, this story is not about your pathological racism. Begone, dude!
R83, many reported gaybashers are Christian, whitebread Russians. Take your racism elsewhere.
In the case of people who are a minority by reason of sexual orientation, the French historically have tended to make a similar bargain with their minorities: we'll tolerate your private life, but only if you blend in on the street. In a move somewhat like the burqa ban, one of the few ant i - g a y measures e v e r passed was a 1949 law t h a t banned dancing between men. Gay marriage â€” and in particular, gay child rearing â€” on the other hand, demands an external acknowledgement of differences, which are precisely the kind of differences that the French have always found difficult to make.
To make matters even trickier, the new law demands a redefinition of the family, which remains a more central part of life in France perhaps than in many other developed countries. This cultural priority is reflected in the way the government tries to foster that closeness, through generous parental leave policies, payments to all families with children, a tax structure that favours families, and long holidays.
Family as Priority
People tend to stay closer to their families here than in the US, and I think family means something different here. And family is not only about the living: stories about family history seem to come up here more often than they do in the US. Among the French people I know, I know much more detail about their ancestors â€” where they came from and who they were and what they did â€” than I ever learn talking to most Americans, with the possible exception of southerners, for whom the past is also more present. At the same time, the new rules touch on gender, in a country where traditional roles have been surprisingly strong: women were on the front lines of the French Revolution, but they only got the vote here after World War II.
Even now, leading feminists will talk much more about differences between men and women than they do elsewhere in northern Europe or the US, according to Scott Gunther, author of The Elastic Closet: A History of Homosexuality in France, 1942-present (Palgrave, 2009), and an associate professor of French at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. But beyond the cultural concerns, Gunther speculates that the protests reflect deep fears about France's economic future. "When things feel down, people tend to grab onto whatever remaining sources of power that they can find," he says. Hollande is also roundly disliked, which probably swells the numbers as well. His popularity is now 29%, and that's up four points from where it stood a few weeks ago. A number of magazines have even likened him to Louis XVI.
esurgence of Old Alliance
Some too are seeing in the anti-gay marriage movement signs of a rise of the far right in France that is already being seen in Hungary and Greece, which now have fascist members of parliament. In last Sunday's protest, although the vast majority of protesters were peaceful, about 200 young far-right protesters attacked police with rocks and bottles, reportedly cheered on by some of the demonstrators and observed by priests who did not attempt to intervene, according to some published reports. John Merriman, a professor of modern French history at Yale University, sees in this a resurgence of the alliance between the French clergy and the fascists that existed during World War II in the Vichy government led by world War I hero Marshall Philippe Petain. "[T]o some extent this marks un retour au Vichy â€” alliance between the Church [hierarchy, or at least much of it] and the right wing," he says. "...In Paris on Sunday, to an extent it was `marechal, nous voila' ["Marshal, we are here"] all over again."
The author, a Paris-based business writer, is a columnist for ET Magazine
An 18-year-old gay rights campaigner has been left brain dead after an attack by far-right skinheads in Paris.
The Local reports Clément Méric, a student at Sciences Po in Paris, was violently attacked by a group of three skinheads, including one woman, near Saint-Lazare train station on Wednesday evening.
A vigil for Clément Méric will take place this evening.
In a statement, the democratic socialist party, Parti de Gauche, said: “The horror of fascism has just killed right in the middle of Paris.”
“Violently beaten to the ground by a group of activists from the extreme right, manifestly from the group JNR (Jeune Nationaliste Revolutionnaire), left motionless, he was declared this evening to be in a state of brain death at Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris,” the statement added.
The leader of JNR, Serge Ayoub, has denied his group’s involvement in the attack.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, called the attack on the young student repulsive and detestable but said groups such as the JNR had no ties with her party.
When asked by RTL radio why one of the attackers was seen wearing a top with her party’s logo, she reacted angrily.
“Making this kind of association is scandalous, I’d like to know very much who this witness is,” Le Pen said. “You have no proof at all.”
It is the latest violent homophobic attack to have taken place in France in recent months.
Anti-gay crime has soared with the arrival of equal marriage in the country.
In April, Raphaël Leclerc, a gay cabaret dancer was beaten unconscious in Nice, and Wilfred de Bruijn, a gay librarian, was attacked in Paris.
In the same month four people were detained on suspicion of carrying out an attack at a gay bar in Lille.
President Francois Hollande called for the violence to stop in April.
I'm an American working at a company in Paris. Some observations: I have never seen a gay couple holding hands in Paris (at least not in the 8th, 7th or 16th districts). Maybe in the gay Marais area. French men seem overall to be very macho and extremely stuffy and formal. Not at all like American guys. But at the same time their quite wimpy and just seem to be twattish. I don't know where the idea came from that French guys are so romantic and hot. Very rarely do I see any hot French guys. When you do see or meet a hot guy, he's American, Italian or Spanish. I can't imagine an out gay guy working in my company. It's just not something that would happen here or be tolerated (at least in my opinion). There are LOTS of arabs in Paris. You see them up and down Champs-Elysees with their wives wearing head scarves walking a few paces behind them. Many of the arab tourists are VERY wealthy. The French arabs who live in Paris usually are poor, are from Tunisia or Algeria and live out in the ghettos or projects. I would imagine that any violence committed against gays would be done by the poor French, the arab French. The regular stuffy French men probably would do such things, but would instead look down on an out gay man, unless the French guy was possibly a hipster or some other type.
Finally, it's true about the body odor thing. Most African French don't use any deodorant whatsoever. Same with arab French. Regular French also can have such problem, although to a lesser extent. I was shocked the other day when a young intern working in my company, he always dresses very nicely and wear a suit every day, he took off his jacket and his perspiration was horrendous. Couldn't believe it. He's an otherwise nice guy.
[quote]Regular French also can have such problem, although to a lesser extent.
Oh, you are so full of shit.
[quote]I don't know where the idea came from that French guys are so romantic and hot. Very rarely do I see any hot French guys.
I have to agree with you on that. Most French guys are tall, lanky, and have those droopy eyes. Plus, they age badly like British men. By the time they hit 30, their skin is all dried out and wrinkles and lines are everywhere.