More violence in Paris. Anti-gay protesters attack police, send explosive letter to parliament.

Anti-gay protests have again turned violent in France, where conservatives, teamed up with the Catholic church and the country’s nascent “Christian conservative” movement, have embraced the use of force, and hate crimes, as a means of imposing their minority will on the largely secular French majority in favor of gay marriage.

Shortly after same-sex marriages were finally fully legalized yesterday in France, with weddings expected to commence in June, the “family values” crowd took to the streets of Paris where they immediately attacked the police with bottles and metal bars, and then sent the president of the French Assembly (France’s equivalent of the US House of Representatives) an envelope containing gun powder.

The anti-gay movement in France, which is closely allied with America’s anti-gay-marriage movement, led by the National Organization for Marriage, has made no secret of its threat, and embrace, of violence.


Parisian Wilfred de Bruijn, who was brutally attacked by anti-gay thugs a few weeks ago in Paris, blames France’s family-values movement for motivating his attackers.

The leader of France’s intolerant minority – gay marriage is favored by the majority of the French – is a comedienne who goes by the pen-name “Frigide Barjot” (a sexual pun on the name of famed French actress Brigitte Bardot).  With France already engulfed in right-wing violence and a marked increase in anti-gay hate crimes, in the wake of the gay marriage debate, Barjot recently appeared to threaten even more violence, as as the gay marriage law was put on a fast-track vote:

“Hollande veut du sang, il en aura!”, Barjot told the French press a few weeks ago.  “Tout le monde est furieux. Nous vivons dans une dictature.”

“[French President] Hollande wants blood, and he’s going to get it!  Everyone is furious. We live in a dictatorship.”

Sadly, the Catholic bishop of Paris, André Vingt-Trois, France’s top Catholic leader, also made excuses for the violence last week, in a not so subtle dog-whistle to the far right.

And more violence is what Paris most certainly got from the unholy alliance of the Catholic Church, American-supported Family Values advocates, and French conservatives, who have even included white supremacists at their “family values” protests, and who at one point during a previous violent protest gave the fascist salute to police.

Anti-gay demonstrators in Paris give the fascist salute while confronting police during an anti-gay-marriage protest.

Anti-gay demonstrators in Paris give the fascist salute while confronting police during an anti-gay-marriage protest.

Hate crimes have recently seen a marked increase in France, with the recent brutal attack on Wilfred de Bruijn in Paris, an attack on a gay bar in the French town of Lille, and the recent defacing and destruction of property of the LGBT center in Paris, which family-values advocates had the audacity to film and put on Twitter.

At the same time, in the wake of yesterday’s final passage of the marriage equality law, the Twitter hashtags “DeathToGays” and “WeMustKillTheHomosexuals” were trending on the French Internet.

The conservative Christian movement in France isn’t well-liked by the populace at large.  France is not a terribly religious country, and the people have serious objections to the church interfering with the state.  The conservative Christian anti-gay coalition has embraced violence, in the face of imminent defeat, as a political ploy to terrorize the French government, and the population at large, in to submission.  Much in the same way that Tea Partyers disrupted Democratic health care town hall meetings in an effort to scare Democrats into thinking Americans were more opposed to health care reform than they really were.

In essence, the intolerant minority are using violence to create a faux backlash against the government, in the hopes that astro-turf violence scares the French people to the point that a real one then follows.

Family-values leader, and comedienne, Frigide Barjot, appeared yesterday to excuse violence as a political tactic, when she blamed her supporters’ increasing embrace of violence on the French government. “The violence comes from the way in which this [law] was imposed,” Barjot told France’s Info radio.

In fact, the law was passed the same way every law is passed.  By the French legislature.  Barjot, and her Catholic and family-values cohorts are simply upset that they lost the recent French presidential election.  And like America’s Republicans, they’ve formed a coalition, based on gay-bashing, to “retake” their country from the tolerant majority.

Al Jazeera actually has a pretty good story on the issue, below, though I’d quibble with the notion that this debate has “divided” the country.  France isn’t divided. The people who lost the last election – the minority conservatives, the Catholic Church, and the family-values crowd – joined forces, with homophobia as their glue, to use the gay marriage debate as an opportunity to attack the majority government by any means necessary.

And if it takes bashing in the heads of a few, or a lot, of gay people for the right to worm their way back into power, the minority conservatives, the Catholic Church, and Christian conservatives are only too happy to oblige.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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35 Responses to “More violence in Paris. Anti-gay protesters attack police, send explosive letter to parliament.”

  1. Gabriel says:

    26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
    Romans 1:26-28

  2. Nuke the Vatican says:

    The Vatican is a terrorist state. It’s time for the US and its allies to re-start the War on Terror and do it right this time, making it what it should have been in the first place: a war on the unmitigated evil that is religion. It’s time the Pope met the same fate as his fellow terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.

  3. FlatLine says:

    I don’t see any crucifixes, priests, bishops or deacons in the pictures above, I don’t see any American flags, Republican banners, nor do I see any National Organization for Marriage signs, hmmm??? I do however see white supremacists (a known violent hate group) saluting the police in great numbers??? Could it be that the white supremacists started this violence and that this author purposely injected Catholics, Republicans, and NOM into this article because they have an ax to grind against these organizations??? I mean using descriptors like anti-gay, generalizing the French protestors with a sweeping brush of “family values” (to include all of the mentioned groups) especially when they noted white supremacists in attendance and then not mentioning what group posted the gay beating on twitter.

    Catholics do not support violence or hatred towards ANY man. We are taught to love as guided by the Bible, 10 commandments, the beatitudes, and general teachings of Jesus Christ. The people who started this violence where not Catholic, Republican and or part of NOM, however the author would like you to think so. This article is biased, filled with hatred, purposeful and meant to divide.

  4. kyleyoder says:

    I wonder how we can find a way to blame France’s intolerance on the Tea Party in the US? I’m sure the gay media will find a way. “France full of bigots? Say it’s not so, that’s where I vacation!” LOL!

  5. mike31c says:

    These so-called Christians are no better then the Muslim Terrorists who kill and terrorize common people for the sake of their god.

  6. Butch1 says:

    So, “god is love” and this is how the “follower’s” of this religion in France love to show the world how peaceful Jesus’ love is. These folks haven’t learned a damned thing and only represent their own homophobic bigotry. The bigots in the church are no better. They should be out there trying to stop these people but not a peep is coming from these evil child rapists.

  7. unreligious says:

    Just checked online and my local library has this book. Going to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

  8. I wonder how many of these protesters are muslim. I guess it is not pc enough to say so.

  9. Cool.
    I warned you faggots.

  10. BeccaM says:

    Off topic: Is it just me, or has something changed in Disqus presentation and format here? For one, top level commenter avatars seem about 50% larger than before (reply comments have the old size). And for another, the expansion of comment-box scrolling seems fubar’d as soon as I go beyond more than about a dozen lines. It starts cutting off from view what I’m typing.

  11. FLL says:

    Yes, today’s anti-gay fascists and Vatican-sponsored thugs are playing from exactly the same book as their antisemitic counterparts during the 30s. I wouldn’t be surprised if the more cynical among them has done a little reading about the propaganda techniques and terror methods used by their 1930s forerunners in Germany and Spain. Your checklist is dead on target.

  12. UncleBucky says:

    Hooray. Let’s throw that gauntlet down to the fascists. Godwin’s law is only there to shut up those who can see through the smoke, mirrors and swastikas.

    Godwin’s law be damned.

  13. UncleBucky says:

    No question. I stayed away for a long time. I even told priests that I am staying away.

    This one looked at me in response? “What, me worry?”

  14. UncleBucky says:

    RCC and Catholics? Violent? Oh, my…..

    Oh, Pope Bergoglio! Please can you do something about your people???


  15. BeccaM says:

    Not at all — you make many good points. Nothing’s ever completely equivalent. The main point I was making is the political methodologies are very nearly identical.

    1. A scapegoated minority.
    2. Lies and libels made up about them to make it sound like this minority is a menace to society and to good morals.
    3. Disavowable fringe groups recruited to engage in systematic vandalism and thuggery.
    4. Violent rhetoric.

    I think you’re right though, at the moment the anti-gay fascists don’t have nearly as much working in their favor as the antisemitic ones did in the 1920s and 30s.

  16. karmanot says:

    It’s time for the Vatican to loose it’s sovereign nation status.

  17. karmanot says:

    The ‘people’ broke the tyranny of the Catholic Church during the last great revolution. It’s time for a little reminder.

  18. karmanot says:

    Godwin’s Law be damned. I have no problem saying Nazi.

  19. karmanot says:

    These same cretins would be cheering on the Vichy fascists a generation ago.

  20. FLL says:

    The parallels between the current crop of hate mongers and their counterparts from the 1930s are clear and disturbing, particularly the tacit approval of the Catholic Church in both cases. There are important differences, however, that will certainly affect the outcome. In the 1930s, antisemitism was a symptom of the majority in Europe, whereas support for equality in France and the U.S. today is around 60% and steadily ticking upward. A second difference was that the European Jewish population in the 1930s was heavily ghettoized, living in clearly defined zones of urban areas. This was the case with America’s gay population in the 60s and 70s, but not nearly so much today. Finally, European gentiles of the 1930s had little opportunity to develop human relations with Jewish citizens because Jews seldom married into gentile families. Gay people are, of course, part of every family, whether headed by straight parents or same-sex parents. The hopes of modern-day anti-gay fascists, therefore, would seem to be doomed.

  21. nicho says:

    What an incredibly stupid post.

  22. BeccaM says:

    It is, isn’t it? I thought about recycling some old Nazi propaganda as examples, replacing each instance of ‘Jew’ with ‘Gay’, but thought it’d be too obvious.

  23. EndlessRepetition says:

    Same as it ever was. I think there might be some anti-gov’t sentiment coupled with a desire for pay-back following their own recent election failures, but their use of gay folk as “bogeymen” is a striking recycle.

  24. kyleyoder says:

    The widespread and brutal violence in France must be America’s fault, because we all know that France and Europe is full of nothing but tolerant happy little elves. Right?

  25. EndlessRepetition says:

    If there was any question about the depth of anti-gay hatred, these French
    riots answered it loud and clear. Although our culture has prodded anti-gay
    individuals into expressing their hostility in an increasingly civilized manner,
    we can’t forget that the base feeling is primal, vicious, and destructive.

  26. Indigo says:

    I’ve been watching that development with growing concern.

  27. nicho says:

    Unfortunately, the church is rearing its ugly head in Spain again and tapping into a lot of pro-Franco sentiment that had been in the closet since the attempted coup in 1981.

  28. BeccaM says:

    So. The mask comes off. The whole movement, if it can be termed such given the reported evidence of astro-turfing on the part of far-far right political groups, is about hate and about hating gay people in particular. And about hating us so much they’re not just willing but eager to resort to riots, violence, and threats of violence.

    All because gay and lesbian couples are to be granted civil marriage rights under French law?

    This entire situation stinks of fascist — not ‘neo-fascist’ but outright fascist — scapegoating. What’s going on in France with respect to these violent bigots bears a striking and disturbing resemblance to another minority population’s treatment in a neighboring country, about 75-80 years ago.

    – Issues of eugenics? ‘Child entitled to be raised by mother and father’? Check. Plus bonus participation by actual white supremacy racists.
    – Tacit approval and active support from conservative religious organizations? Check.
    – False accusations of this minority being an active harm and clear and present danger to society in general? Check.
    – Asserted claims that this minority are the actual oppressors? Check.
    – Jingoistic propaganda? Check.
    – Thuggish threats and violence, including open calls for the death of the targeted minority? Check.

  29. melbach007 says:

    Let them eat c-ock…er, cake.

  30. nicho says:

    The Catholic/Christian church has been extremely violent almost from its inception. Anyone who doesn’t believe that would be advised to read “Absolute Monarchs” by John Julius Norwich. It’s a fascinating history of the papacy. Popes were more often violent than not. Early ones had private armies/goon squads, carried swords, and weren’t above murdering anyone who got in their way. Later, they found surrogates to do their dirty work — a tradition that continues to this very day. If you do read the book, make sure you have plenty of soap and clean towels on hand. You will feel the need to shower frequently.

  31. FLL says:

    The documented collusion between the Catholic Church and the neo-fascists in this surge of anti-equality violence in France must be brought to the attention of the rank-and-file Catholic laity here in the U.S. Catholics in the U.S. have been even more supportive of equality than the U.S. population in general. There needs to be a concerted effort to convince American Catholics to step away from the Catholic Church. Stop donating every week. Members of Catholic congregations in the U.S. can meet on their own, outside of church. Boycott the Roman Catholic Church for a couple years. Make them sweat. This fully documented collaboration between the Vatican and the neo-fascists in this campaign of violence in France needs to be front-page news among Catholics in the U.S. Spread the meme: Step away, American Catholics.
    Step away from the Catholic Church. Do it now.

  32. Badgerite says:

    Matthew Chapter 5 From the Sermon on the Mount

    Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly father.

    I would put Wilfred Debruijn’s picture on a t-shirt with a this and a few other pithy saying from the Big Guy on the front.

  33. Bj Lincoln says:

    The use of violence is condoned if it’s for a good reason according to the Catholic Church. I’m guessing they don’t want to live by the law most have been living under already. They do not want to give up openly discriminating against LGBT people. They can not discriminate when offering services to the public or using public funds but they have and will. I have read rumblings of a “revolution” and many people signed the pledge that clearly states they will break the law if they have to.
    I hope our country does not see this level of blind hate filled rage and stupidity.

  34. Sean says:

    NOM should be really proud of the barbaric terrorist blood thirsty allies in France. It truly is the perfect image of “Christianity” and family “values”, not really.

  35. Indigo says:

    Oh, those French people! Interesting as usual. Beneath and behind the fussing and brutality is a very serious on-going campaign spear-headed from the Vatican to “reclaim” Europe for the Church. That they resort to violence is not out of a character. I think we need to encourage recognition of the violence the Roman Church is capable of generating. The Spanish Civil war alone should remind people of how very dangerous the Roman Church is and how extremely volatile the situation could become. Social Justice and Vatican policy are structurally incompatible.

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