French President Condemns Surge Of Homophobic Violence

Police clash with violent anti-equality protesters Wednesday night. (Photo credit: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

The French Parliament prepares for its final vote on marriage equality next week, and opponents of marriage equality have promised violence and homophobic attacks have begun to increase. French President François Hollande has denounced these reactions:

HOLLANDE: Homophobic acts, violent acts have been committed. The right to protest is recognized by our constitution and accepted by the French. But no protest must degenerate.

On Wednesday, several thousand protesters took to the streets of Paris, leading to cars and public property being damaged, as well as police officers and journalists being attacked. Wednesday night, four people carried out an attack at a gay bar, punching the bar manager, throwing chairs through windows, and causing other material damage. On Monday, 70 anti-gay protesters were arrested for attempting to set up a campsite outside the National Assembly.

Marriage equality has already passed in both chambers of Parliament — next week’s vote in the National Assembly is merely a final technicality to address minor amendments made in the Senate. Opponents are planning to nevertheless proceed with their march on May 26th, demanding the law be withdrawn.