As France prepares to have its final vote on the issue of gay marriage, lawmakers are finding themselves the target of threats and warnings from those in opposition of gay marriage. President François Hollande of France vigorously supports marriage equality and debate inside the National Assembly has been furious as politicians clash on the issue ahead of the vote. Despite all the protests and violence, France is set to become the 14th nation to legalize gay marriage.
The vote is expected Tuesday, as a result security forces are preparing for violent protests as the bill is expected to pass with a large majority. On Monday, the president of the lower house, Claude Bartolone, received a letter filled with gun powder and a warning. The letter instructed him to delay the vote on the gay marriage bill. The letter reads:
"Citizen Bartolone, with this letter we formally ask you to delay the vote on same-sex marriage. Our methods are more radical and direct than demonstrations. You wanted war, you've got it."
Protests have taken place nearly every day, with a large demonstration of anti-gay protesters occurring on April 18 called “Demo for All.” Ministers have found their homes and cars vandalized and journalists have been assaulted in recent weeks as the bill is debated in the National Assembly. Attacks among France’s gay population have also been on the increase since debate for the “Marriage for All” bill began. The more moderate right group, Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), has rejected any role in extremist activity.
France’s right have been left largely immobile by socialist Hollande’s political and economic agenda. Which might explain why the right has clung to this issue so fiercely and often violently. The French Right won’t say those are the reasons however, instead, they say that leaders in France have clearly underestimated the French attachment to family.
Some on the right have even gone so far as to call Hollande a dictator, “Hollande wants blood and he’ll get it.” That statement is not even representative of the most extreme opposition out there. The group known as French Spring, believes in using even more extreme tactics to prevent the gay marriage bill from passing.
Polls place support of gay marriage among the French citizenry at 60 percent. The violent outbursts by the minority in France will not be enough to prevent the gay marriage bill from becoming law. The bill is expected to pass as the Socialist party holds a large majority. Passage, however, will not come without additional protests. Either way, France is likely to legalize gay marriage long before the United States.