A man was brutally beaten in Paris over the weekend in an anti-gay attack he says shows the “face of homophobia in France.” Gay rights activists say ongoing sentiment against same-sex marriage has turned into homophobic violence.
According to Wilfred de Brujin, he and his boyfriend were attacked Saturday night in the 19th arrondissement in Paris. Hours after the beating he posted the photo of his bloodied face on Facebook, where it quickly went viral:
Sorry to show you this. 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.
As the country’s senate debates the bill seeking to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption, rising antagonism has led to other violent incidents in France. Also over the weekend, vandals were filmed attacking an LGBT fair. The Local reports:
At the weekend, the annual Inter LGBT fair, held in the famous Marais district of the capital’s fourth arrondissement was targeted by vandals, who are opposing gay-marriage.
Responsibility for the “homophobic attack” (see video, below) was claimed by “Le Printemps Francais” (French spring), a collective of dissidents who split from the mainstream “Manif pour Tous” anti-gay marriage movement led by French comic Frigide Barjot.
The group published a video of themselves engaging in the vandalism, but later deleted it, though not before a pro-gay marriage activist had been able to republish it.
Manif pour Tous has denounced the act of vandalism as well as the attack against Wilfred de Bruijn, while also denying that their movement is responsible for provoking anti-gay violence.
“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,” said one of the movement’s leaders, Xavier Bongibault, who is — twist – gay.
Gay rights groups will hold demonstrations on Wednesday, April 10 in response to the attack on De Brujin and Manif pour Tous has expressed interest in joining them…soooooo, we’ll see how that goes.