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France’s anti-gay leader will not attend marriage protest

France’s anti-gay leader will not attend marriage protest

France’s anti-gay leader Frigide Barjot has said she will not attend the nationwide protest against marriage equality on Sunday (26 May).

Thousands are expected to line the French city streets to protest against ‘Marriage For All’ bill.

This is despite of President Francois Hollande signing the bill into law last week.

Barjot said while her decision was not final, she said she was ‘reluctant’ to go the event because of the ‘climate of violence’.

This week, it was reported by French media Barjot had been the subject of death threats from right-wing extremists.

She allegedly received a text message from an anonymous number, saying: ‘Thou shall not speak of civil unions’.

‘There are serious threats to me,’ she said, adding she had bodyguards protecting her.

‘I do not want to leave hundreds of thousands with a sense of abandonment,’ Barjot added. ‘But we do not want to have a climate of violence. If our freedom of speech on the podium is not met, we will not stay.’

On France Info radio, the Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he would consider a ban on French Spring, the most extremist of the equal marriage opponents.

‘There are many people who have received threats. Both those are pro-equal marriage and for the last few days, we’ve see a number of people such as Frigide Barjot receive threats.’

Before the French government voted fully in favor of marriage equality, the Socialist president of France’s National Assembly Claude Bartolone was sent a threatening letter containing gunpowder.

The one-page letter warned: ‘You wanted war, and you’ve got it.’

It came after deputies Sylviane Sulbeau and Hugues Fourage were sent letters from anti-gay marriage extremists, threatening to kidnap and kill them or their loved ones.

At a previous anti-gay marriage protest, Barjot said: ‘Hollande wants blood, and he will get it.’

On 21 May, a 78-year-old historian committed suicide in the Notre Dame cathedral to protest against equal marriage.

In a poll published earlier this month by IFOP, 67% of the French public believe the anti-gay marriage protests should stop.