Gay attack victim in France becomes cause celebre

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013
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"These people are all professionals of the spoken word. They know very well what can happen if you repeat, repeat, repeat that these people are lower human beings. Of course it will have a result."

In light of the attack — which has forced members of the anti-gay marriage campaign to defend themselves — 30 gay associations organized the anti-homophobia rally for Wednesday. Associations SOS Homophobia and Refuge have used De Bruijn's case to highlight the spike they've recorded in homophobia since the gay marriage bill was announced last year. Both associations report that homophobic acts — verbal and physical — in the first three months of 2013 have tripled compared with the same period in 2012.

Meanwhile, Frigide Barjot, the stage name of an activist who has led protests against the bill, insisted the anti-gay marriage movement is opposed to violence. Speaking on RMC radio Wednesday, Barjot was careful to distance herself from a rightwing movement called the "French Spring," whose name was supposedly inspired by the revolutionary values of 2011's "Arab Spring."

"We don't want violence. We denounce this violence and these acts, we have nothing to do with (Catholic) fundamentalists or extremists," she said.

Not so, for De Bruijn.

"It was not Frigide Barjot who was hitting my head, or the bishop of Avignon lurking in that street to attack us," he said. "But they are responsible."

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP