Radical gays under surveillance ahead of Papal visit
French police are watching the activities of militant LGBT activists ahead of a visit by the Pope.
Le Figaro reports that after events in Sydney, when Benedict XVI faced protests, the French authorities are anxious to ensure nothing similar occurs.
6,000 police and other security services will be assigned to his first Papal visit to France, from 12th to 15th September, which will include a trip to Lourdes, a meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy and a Mass in Paris.
Thousands of gay rights protesters across Australia joined a black parade in protest at the end the Pope’s visit to the country in July.
A spokesman for the march said it was designed to tell the Pope “homosexuality is not a sin.”
Protesters carried placards with slogans reading “Pope go homo” and “Pope wanted for murder.”
Pope Benedict XVI had been in Australia as part of World Youth Day (WYD) a mass gathering of pilgrims aimed at encouraging them to “celebrate their faith around a particular theme.”
As pilgrims marched through from Anzac Parade and Moore Park Road, in Sydney on Sunday, thousands of protesters handed out free condoms along the route.
There was one reported clash between protesters and pilgrims. A Catholic man launched himself onto a gay protester, punching him on the neck.
He was arrested and later released without charge.
The protests were mostly peaceful. The New South Wales police had banned protesters from attending WYD under the guise it was illegal to “annoy” the protesters.
This ban was later overturned by the Australian Federal Court.