France: National Assembly speaker urged to delay equal marriage vote in ammunition powder letter

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The speaker of France’s National Assembly has received an envelope containing ammunition powder and a threatening letter calling on him to delay Tuesday’s equal marriage vote.

AFP reports the letter asks Claude Bartolone, the Socialist speaker of the National Assembly, to “delay the final vote” on the legislation that would allow same-sex marriage and adoption rights for gay couples.

“Our methods are more radical and direct than the protests, you wanted war, you have it,” the letter states.

“Allowing marriage for all would be the same as destroying all marriage,” the letter says, before adding: “If you were to carry on regardless, your political family will have to suffer physically.”

Several French politicians, who support the marriage equality bill, have received threats in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, Senator Esther Benbassa said her car was trashed – a move she believed was linked to her support for the bill – and that she had received threatening phone calls, emails and letters.

Erwann Binet, a Socialist MP who supports the bill, has been forced to cancel planned debates for security reasons after being heckled by far-right militants.

Meanwhile, several violent homophobic attacks against gay members of the public have taken place in various parts of the country over the past week.

A young gay cabaret dancer was beaten unconscious at the weekend in Nice.

Last week, President Hollande condemned displays of homophobic violence, along with Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, who also called for calm.