NOM Denies Anti-Gay Violence In France After Praising Activist Who Called For “Blood”
April 19, 2013 2:12 pm ET by Carlos Maza
Despite having endorsed an activist who openly called for “blood,” the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is downplaying growing anti-gay violence in France in the lead up to the country’s vote on same-sex marriage.
Just days before the French Parliament’s final vote on marriage equality, news outlets are reporting a spike in anti-gay violence in France, including the vicious attack of a gay couple, an assault on a gay bar, and several clashes between anti-gay protestors and police officers.
The violence has undoubtedly been encouraged by the leaders of France’s anti-gay movement. Prominent anti-gay activist Frigide Barjot became the target of widespread criticism in early April after promising “blood” if the French government embraces marriage equality, saying:
This is a disgrace. The French people don't want this law, and what do they do? They speed up its passage. [President] Hollande wants blood, and he will get it.
France’s top Catholic bishop, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, similarly criticized the government for considering embracing marriage equality, warning to French bishops’ at a conference that “this is the way a violent society develops.”
Rather than condemn the anti-gay violence occurring in France, however, NOM continues to portray French anti-gay activists as “peaceful,” even suggesting that it’s the pro-equality activists who are committing violence. In NOM’s April 18 newsletter, NOM president Brian Brown wrote:
In France spontaneous peaceful demonstrations by young people protesting their government's determination to ignore the voice of the people is causing headaches across the country.
Violence did break out but not from the pro-marriage protestors.
In the small hours of Saturday, a leading member of the 'Manif pour tous,' Samuel Lafont, was knifed several times in the center of Paris after pro-gay 'marriage' activists had called for violence against him on Twitter. While his alleged aggressors are apparently not linked to the pro-gay movement in any way – they are Brazilians who were arrested on Sunday afternoon – outrageous remarks from the pro-gay 'marriage' lobby hoping he would die triggered a new series of demonstrations in the center of Paris on Sunday.
It makes sense that NOM would attempt to whitewash the anti-gay violence taking place in France. NOM is deeply connected to France’s anti-gay movement.
In January, NOM praised Barjot as a “hero for marriage,” touting her “speech of a lifetime” at an anti-gay rally in Paris. Robert Lopez, a close NOM ally, praised Barjot for presenting the anti-gay movement in America with a “colorful” character “whom we can emulate.” Statements by Cardinal Vingt-Trois have also been echoed on NOM’s blog since as early as August of last year.
NOM has yet to acknowledge, much less condemn, the violent rhetoric being spewed by its allies in France or the real anti-gay violence that it’s helped encourage.