French anti-equal marriage movement leader: Hollande wants blood and he will get it

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The comedian at the head of France’s anti-same-sex marriage movement has lashed out at the government’s decision to accelerate the progress of the equal marriage bill, implying that protests may become violent.

Frigide Barjot – real name Virginie Tellene – a born-again Catholic and reactionary comedian, brought together various Christian, conservative, and far-right groups together to rally against marriage equality earlier this year under the name Manif pour Tous (Demo for All).

The French government appears likely to pass a bill allowing same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt, approved by President Francois Hollande’s government last November.

On Friday the French Senate gave its approval to the bill, and the government then announced it would bring forward its final hearing in the National Assembly to 17 April.

The decision caused outrage among opponents of equal marriage, not least as Manif pour Tous had organised its next mass rally for May 26.

Frigide Barjot said: “This is a disgrace. The French people don’t want this law, and what do they do? They speed up its passage. Hollande wants blood, and he will get it.

“We live in a dictatorship,” she added. “The President of the Republic has guillotined us.”

Barjot said earlier this week that Manif pour Tous do not condone violence, responding to claims by LGBT activists that homophobic and transphobic incidents are on the rise due to anti-equal marriage campaigns.

An attack on a gay couple in Paris earlier this month was said to be part of this increase in anti-LGBT violence. One man, Wilfred de Bruijn, was left severely injured, with a fractured skull and missing tooth.

On Wednesday around 5,000 people, including Mr de Bruijn, took part in a demonstration in Paris, with placards saying: “Homophobia kills” and “Our love is stronger than your hate”.

Deputies of the centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP) also weighed in on the decision to hold the National Assembly hearing this week.

Christian Jacob said the accelerated progress of the bill was “risking a violent confrontation with the French people,” while Herve Mariton called it “an incitement to civil war.”

Barjot has previously denied being homophobic, but told the press “I cannot condone the introduction of a new type of marriage into France’s civil code.”