Anti-equal marriage activist names Tour de France as target for protest
Opposition to France’s equal marriage law say they will use the “extraordinary international visibility” of the Tour de France to protest in an attempt to get the recently established law repealed.
The international cycling tournament celebrates its 100th edition this year and will run from June 29.
Following months of sometimes violent protests, and a substantial rise in homophobic attacks, French President Hollande signed the law making France the fourteenth country in the world to allow equal marriage last month.
Samuel Lafont, an anti-equal marriage activist, says he plans to use the media coverage of the Tour de France to broadcast his opposition to the law.
Mr Lafont set up a Facebook page titled “Tour de France Pour Tous” – a play on the marriage equality law “Mariage Pour Tous” (Marriage For All) and the name of the opposition demonstrators, “Manif Pour Tous” (March For All).
Lafont, a member of the opposition party Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), wrote on the Facebook page: “From all regions of France, come out and participate in the Tour de France Pour Tous.
“From June 29 to July 21, we will have extraordinary international visibility. We must use this opportunity to demonstrate our opposition to this law and to the modern gender theories that lie behind it.”
He added: “The idea is not to disrupt the race, but to be visible on French and international news media, at every stage of the race.”
If his plans go ahead, the Tour de France would be the second high-profile French sporting event to be targeted by equal marriage opponents. On 9 June the French Open tennis tournament was disrupted by a masked, bare-chested man with a flare, who was restrained by security before he was able to interrupt the match between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.
Other protesters at the event called on Francois Hollande, the French President, to resign.
On 29 May Vincent Autin, a 40-year-old PR firm head, and his husband Bruno Boileau, a 29-year-old government worker, became the first same-sex couple to be married in France, in Montpellier’s town hall.
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