An anti-gay leader has said an 18-year-old gay rights activist would still be alive if France had not legalized same-sex marriage.
Frigide Barjot, leader of the French religious right, argues Clément Méric would still be alive if it was not for the government who ‘refused to listen to the French people’.
Despite condemning the violence, Barjot said: ‘The president has upped the extremism by passing a law that the French didn’t want, and in a way that was authoritarian and undemocratic.
‘When we refuse to act like a democracy, extremism rises. In a way, you could say there was a death because of this denial of democracy.’
President FranÃ§ois Hollande has condemned the ‘aggressive violence’ of far-right groups and has warned homophobic attacks will be punished.
Méric’s murder follows the rise of attacks of gay people and government officials in support of equal marriage.
Last night, a vigil and a rally against violence in honor of Méric took place in Paris. Thousands are believed to have attented to pay tribute to the fallen anti-fascist activist.
After the attack, images emerged of Méric marching against anti-gay violence on 17 April. The banner he held read: ‘Homophobia Kills’.
Check out an image of last night’s vigil below: