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France: Anti-equal marriage leader to be evicted for illegally subletting apartment

Joseph McCormick October 30, 2013
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One of the most outspoken leaders of protests against France’s recently adopted equal marriage and adoption law is to be evicted from her Paris apartment.

Frigide Barjot, a comedienne-turned-political activist, is to be evicted from the property which she and her husband rent from the Paris city council.

The reason behind the eviction is that the couple illegally sublet the apartment to a business which is run by Bruno Tellenne, Barjot’s husband.

The company Jalons, which was established by Tellenne, also known as Basil de Koch, payed the couple rent.

The couple, who are also to pay the council 1,500 euros, have four months to vacate the two-storey home, which is made of two apartments knocked together, because of a ban on winter evictions.

Laurent Créhange, the couple’s lawyer, asserted that the council had previously agreed to allow the flat to be used as an address for the company, which he said was not commercial.

The couple claim that the eviction is a political vendetta.

City councillor Ian Brossat, who alerted the housing department of the case, commended the council for the decision.

“Nothing could justify Madame Barjot, who by the way owns several properties, occupying social housing, given her family circumstances,” he said.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, Barjot owns a four-room apartment inherited from her mother, another in the 15th arrondissement she inherited from her father, a holiday home near St Tropez, a house at Trouville-sur-Mer, three cellars in Paris and a garage.

She and her husband previously fought off a bid to raise the rent of the 2,850 apartment, but the couple fought off the bit, citing their annual income of 36,000, and saying they were entitled to a below-market-value rent.

Barjot, real name Virginie Merie, was amid her leadership of a campaign to block the equal marriage and adoption legislation from passing through.

She later had a disagreement with the Manif Pour Tous (Demo For All) movement.

Barjot, a born-again Catholic and reactionary comedian, brought together various Christian, conservative, and far-right groups together to rally against marriage equality earlier this year under the movement.

She asserted that the Government should replace the equal marriage bill, which allows adoption for same-sex couples, with civil unions legislation, omitting the right to adopt.

She also  lashed out at the French government’s decision to accelerate the progress of the equal marriage bill, implying that protests may become violent.

Later, she declined to participate in rallies which had turned violent.

Following months of, sometimes violent, protests, and a substantial rise in homophobic attacks, last Friday French President Hollande signed the law, making France the fourteenth country in the world to allow equal marriage.




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