The vote to finalize France’s marriage equality bill has been expedited to next week, but opponents are going to fight it — literally. Frigide Barjot, leader of the anti-same-sex marriage group Manif pour tous, promised violence in response to its expected passage:
BARJOT: This is a disgrace. The French people don’t want this law, and what do they do? They speed up its passage. [President François] Hollande wants blood, and he will get it. We live in a dictatorship. The President of the Republic has guillotined us.
Members of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), France’s current minority conservative party, similarly suggested such a reaction. UMP deputies Christian Jacob and Hervé Mariton did not mince their words:
JACOB: The President of the Republic is risking a violent confrontation with the French people.
MARITON: [Passing the same-sex marriage bill is] an incitement to civil war.
Violence has already been an issue in France due to the same-sex marriage bill. When opponents held their most recent march, a group attempted to challenge police barricades and violate the march’s route and were met with tear gas. In general, gay rights groups have expressed concern about increasing levels of violence against the LGBT community, including one man, Wilfred de Bruijn, whose severe injuries have led to him being nicknamed “the face of homophobia.”
Interestingly, new details suggest a significant relationship between France’s anti-equality movement and the National Organization for Marriage, as was previously suspected. NOM has yet to condemn these promises of violence.