PHOTOS: France's Government Worried By Violent Antigay Backlash
With protests against marriage equality turning into outbreaks of violence, the French government is worried about a final vote scheduled for next week.
French President Francois Hollande said during a news conference that he "cannot accept" violence and "homophobic acts," according to Reuters. Hollande, a Socialist, campaigned on passage of marriage equality and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children. While he said "everyone must be heard" he also said "the law and parliament also need to be respected."
In recent days a Dutch man said he was walking arm-in-arm when he was brutally assaulted. Photos of his beaten face spread internationally via the Internet. Now politicians are receiving threatening letters, a gay bar was attacked and there are arrests at increasingly confrontational protests by opponents of same-sex marriage.
See photos of it all on the following pages.
Four men burst into a gay bar on Wednesday in the city of Lille and began trashing it, injuring several employees. "They came to beat up gays - that's exactly how they phrased it," the proprietor of the bar told Reuters. The men were later detained by police.
Antigay protestors rallied in the streets of Paris on Wednesday night with a heavy police presence on hand because confrontations were expected and did break out.
The protest came only a few hours after the second reading of France's landmark bill allowing gay marriage at the French National Assembly. Final approval is expected on April 23 under a fast-track measure that limits debate to 25 hours.
A cameraman is attacked by opponents of marriage equality.
A member of the anti-gay marriage movement called "La Manif Pour Tous," or Demonstration For All! is arrested during a demonstration in Paris.
French socialist Deputy Sylviane Bulteau shows journalists the threatening letter she received from members of the anti-gay marriage movement. Bulteau and fellow Socialist Hugues Fourage both received threatening correspondence by unknown authors.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls leads a meeting with representatives of French police and gendarmerie focused on security measures following a spate of homophobic attacks.
Shirtless and masked members of the anti-gay marriage group, Hommen, join hands and tie their wrists together to block a Paris street.
Police eventually arrested the men, but most had to be physically carried off.
Opponents of marriage equality scuffle with security teams.
Proponents of marriage equality carry a sign reading "Homophobia Kills."
Wilfred de Bruijn, a Dutch man living in France for 10 years, was the victim of a brutal attack in Paris while he was “walking arm in arm” with his boyfriend. Here his face is bloated, seeped in blood, his bruised right eye shut tight, his tooth broken.