French Marriage Equality Opponent 'Very Scared' Of Right-Wing Backlash

Frigide Barjot, a French conservative former satirist who believes one can oppose marriage equality without being antigay, says she's been threatened by right-wing activists who believe she's too accepting.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

May 25 2013 3:02 PM ET

Frigide Barjot, a French comedian who became the "unconventional leader of the French movement against gay marriage," according to the U.K.'s Independent, has been subjected to threatening letters, emails and phone calls since the nation legalized marriage equality earlier this month

But this time, Barjot says the threats are coming from fellow conservatives. 

"I'm being bombarded," the right-wing satirist told the Independent. "Before the law on homosexual marriage was passed, the threats came from the gay militants on the far left. Now they are coming from the homophobes on the far right."

Antigay right-wing extremists have threatened the comic-turned-activist with violence at a demonstration she planned to host in Paris on Saturday, according to the Independent. Barjot, whose given name is Virginie Tellenne, has requested police protection, and is reportedly considering boycotting her own demonstration. 

Authorities believe the threats are coming from a right-wing, racist, homophobic group called Printemps Francias, or French Spring, which rose to prominence during the country's contentious, often violent protests over marriage equality. The Independent reports that a right-wing author who shot himself inside the Notre Dame Cathedral on Tuesday in an apparent protest of marriage equality was closely associated with the antigay group.

Barjot contends that she's now being targeted by religious zealots and far-right extremists because her she believes it's possible to oppose marriage equality without being antigay. 

"I entered this fight because I knew that, otherwise, the protests would be dominated by people like them: the far right and the Catholic extremists," Barjot told the Independent Friday. "I wanted to give a voice to the thousands of ordinary people, not all of them people of the right, who believe that gay marriage, in the way that it has been imposed in France, is an attack on the family and foundations on which our society is built."

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