France: Right-wing councillor accused of homophobic assault on gay rights activists

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Councillor Richard Jacob, a far-right local councillor in France has been accused of shouting homophobic abuse and physically attacking gay rights activists in the Burgundy town of Auxerre last Saturday.

Councillor Jacob, an elected member of Marine Le-Pen’s right wing National Front party, allegedly beat up three marriage equality campaigners at a rally outside the Town Hall, reports The Local.

According TF1 television, witnesses have reported that the councillor became agitated at the presence of the demonstrators and proceeded to shout homophobic abuse at them before pushing three activists down the steps of the Town Hall.

One victim had to be taken to hospital because of an injury to his face, while another sustained an injury to his ankle and a third claims he was kicked in the face during the brawl with the councillor.

The three victims have filed complaints with police but Councillor Jacob told French newspaper Yonne Republican that he acted in self-defence and claims he was the one “insulted” and “pushed by the demonstrators, who had blocked access to the Town Hall.”

Earlier this month, France took a step closer to legalising equal marriage and adoptions for same-sex couples by approving the ‘Marriage for All’ bill at its National Assembly.

The bill will now go to France’s Sénat on 2 April.