Homoerotic anti-”gay marriage” protesters disrupt French Open finals

An anti-gay coalition in France of the religious right, Catholic church and opposition party UMP disrupted the finals of the French Open tennis tournament today at Roland Garros. Ostensible, they were protesting France’s recent legalization of gay marriage, but now that gay marriage is legal in France, the protests are rather moot.

protest-Roland-Garros

French religious right protesters – part of a coalition made up of the Catholic church and France’s UMP political party – attack tennis players at the French Open today to show their opposition to France’s new gay marriage law.

The protests are also oddly homoerotic.

A bunch of half-naked buff young guys, wearing carnival masks, streaked on the tennis court, and held signs, while holding flares.  You can only see one in the video below.  Buzzfeed has photos of the other protesters, and an excellent demonstration of the homoeroticism of France’s Catholic church/UMP.

The French religious right has been using this leit-motif of buff half-naked men in Mardi Gras masks, to protest gay marriage, for a while now.  And it’s more than a bit odd.  Do you remember France’s unitard bird-man “flash mob” for traditional marriage from  a few months ago?  Yeah, nothing gay about that:

large-french-flash-mob-gay-marriage

Here are more gayer-than-gayer religious right protesters via the Advocate magazine.

Tight pants, muscled physique.  It’s like all the homo and none of the phobe.

You see, France legalized gay marriage a few weeks ago, and the French right has been beside itself over its defeat and the gays’ victory.  Much like the American Republican party’s Frankenstein coalition with the Catholic church, the evangelicals, and the Mormons, the French right-wing UMP party also hitched its wagon to the anti-gay prejudice of France’s minuscule religious right, mostly led by the Catholic church, and allied with America’s anti-gay marriage right, led by NOM.

As it became increasingly clear that the French parliament was going to pass marriage equality, France’s  anti-gay right became more and more violent.

First, religious right protesters violently attacked the French police, and then used their own pre-school age children as human shields against tear gas, which was ironic in a protest supposedly devoted to saving the children.

Then came the fascist-salute crowd attacking the police.

Then came an attack on Paris’ main LGBT center.

Then the threats to kill gays, and hate crimes against French gays.

Then, powder-laced letters were sent to the head of the parliament.

All the while, France’s religious right leader, and the Catholic church’s top leader in France, both seemed to make excuses for the violence.

Then skinheads murder a young French poli-sci student who had just participated in pro-gay rallies in Paris, and the religious right blames gay marriage supporters for the 18 year old’s death – after all, the religious right says, this wold have never happened had the government not legalized gay marriage.

The French Open is rather sacrosanct in France.  And attacking it, during the finals, is not exactly the wisest move if you’re interested in winning French public opinion.  The problem is, it’s not clear what the right-wing coalition of the Catholic church and France’s UMP want, other than, seemingly, to foment violence, hatred and intolerance in what was once thought of as one of Europe’s more tolerant countries, at least sexually.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • kyleyoder

    “Much like the American Republican party’s Frankenstein coalition with the Catholic church, the evangelicals, and the Mormons”
    Hmm, the problem with that statement is those people aren’t killing gays, attacking them with baseball bats and knives, and burning down gay community centers. Perhaps your vision of France was wrong all along. Sorry about that, KKKomrade.

  • ldfrmc

    Now I understand scoring in tennis. Zero/Love.

    Someone find the young man a date – a mandate.

  • JozefAL

    You might want to recall that the French government, as part of the marriage equality measure, took steps that EQUALIZED gays and lesbians when it comes to raising children (whether by adoption or artificial insemination). Unfortunately, that “pro-children” measure was NOT well-received by the same lunatics who’ve spent the last month or so protesting marriage equality.
    I’d also question what the fuck you think is more “pro-children’s rights” than curtailing “parental rights” which all too often are NOT in the children’s best interests. It’s funny why you think that “home schooling” is a matter of “children’s rights” when it’s really nothing more than a right-wing attempt to keep their children “protected” from the “evils” of being in school with minority groups or being taught shit that was last fashionable back in the 15th century.
    Considering the Roman Catholic Church is opposed to birth control for ANYONE, the “birth control for 10 year olds” is a straw man. And why shouldn’t a child have the right to sue their parents? If you were being mistreated, wouldn’t YOU want the right to have the issue taken up in a court of law? As to that “pop-on-the-butt,” well if that were ALL it EVER involved, you might have something; unfortunately, the right-wing isn’t satisfied with that. They want the right to beat their children (hell, the Bible–of which so many on the right are so fond–actually mandates that “unruly children” be put to death). And get over your fucking stupidity about NAMBLA. Currently, there are NO laws in many countries prohibiting sex between STRAIGHT men and 10-year-old girls (especially with parental consent–see the issue of “child brides”). Southeast Asia and Southern Africa have long had problems with girls under the age of 12 being SOLD to sex slavers for the sole purpose of offering HETERO men the opportunity to have “unspoiled” or “virgin” girls (all the better to not get HIV) without any regard for whatever “social” diseases the adult men have. (In certain parts of Africa, men still believe that if they have sex with a virgin girl, they’ll be protected from HIV–even if the adult man is already HIV+.)

  • JozefAL

    What language are you using starting with “thanks to this action?” It LOOKS like English but is missing a few key ingredients.
    If I’ve deciphered (decrypted?) the gobbledygook correctly, I’d like to see some LEGITIMATE links that back up the accusations.

  • dcinsider

    Cathlophobic? What is that, fear of being raped?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    And there are teeny, tiny micro bots in your croissant recording your every conversation—just like America.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Are you lost?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ppffftttt

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Anyone who knows Catholicism can’t help but be phobic.

  • Ninong

    Don’t tell him about that, they’re not supposed to know.

  • ericxdc

    justsayin’ – you’re too much of a coward to come back here and try to defend yourself, aren’t you?

    Very, very typical. Spew idiocy and lies then run for cover.

    Coward. Just sayin, indeed.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I’d prefer to point a middle finger straight at you.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Probably a parakeet rather than an eagle.

  • Inis_Magrath

    — “What does tennis have to do with marriage equality anyway?”

    Let’s see. There’s two men, and they are holding their rackets and playing with a set of balls? Could that be it?

  • lileasy

    Snort.

  • la Catholic state

    Well a lot of people are Catholophobic. Nasty.

  • Aga

    Censorship much, John? I have to say you are very quick :-)

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    What the hell is your point? Either make it or move on.

  • harrymattachine

    Look up Mattachine Society, then Harry Hay. Esp. re the masks.

  • kingstonbears

    Puts a whole new meaning to “flamer”.

  • AnitaMann

    I would love to see a study of bigot’s brains. My guess is they start out as violent people and are just looking for a convenient target.

  • Sweetie

    “Nevertheless, I don’t approve of interrupting events.”

    I prefer Free Speech Zones. Nice and tidy, especially when they’re as far from the action as possible.

  • JayRandal

    Guy in the bird suit with wings has a tiny package if that means anything lol

  • JayRandal

    Most of French citizenry are non homophobic, but in every country some crazies exist. Gosh imagine if Gay marriage was declared legal in every US state. Some rednecks would go ballistic.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Yeah, regardless of our views on the Michelle Obama thing, she was speaking out to a political figure about the gay promises of her husband at a gay fundraiser. Slightly different than taking your clothes off and running half-naked with a flare during a tennis match, to oppose legislation that’s already finished.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Oh, and good try, but I speak French fluently – and I think the main Parisian daily has a better sense of who was behind this protest than you, and they say it was the anti-”gay marriage” crowd :)

    Haveaniceday.

    http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/les-anti-mariage-gay-s-invitent-a-la-finale-de-roland-garros-09-06-2013-2880079.php

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Sorry, but I’m well-versed in French politics on this matter. This is a coalition of the Catholic Church and the UMP that went horribly wrong. And now that they (you?) have woken up terrorists and white supremacists, suddenly you’re claiming “those aren’t my people.” You inspired them, they’re yours.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s easy. These French bigots are a minority of private citizens fighting the government because it gave people their civil and human rights. In India, the government is the problem, they’re the ones denying women their basic civil and human rights. So you betcha we have a problem with the Indian government turning a blind eye to the rape, murder, and acid-burnings of women. The question is, why don’t you?

    In case anyone’s wondering, this is the article they’re upset about: http://americablog.com/2013/06/horrific-acid-attack-on-17-y-o-coed-is-sadly-typical-of-indias-routine-mistreatment-of-women.html

  • Jonathan_Justice

    Illya beaucoup de craziee en France, but it should not be all that unfamiliar to Americans. John rightly contrasts the facts on the ground: Law implemented, Equal marriage happening; Widespread approval in the polls; to the craziness in the air: Loony, even lurid demonstrations that violate a French sense of decorum that makes the English look loose and silly. Deadly violence against French people. Over the top rhetoric about a new Revolution. One hopes that the likes of our own Oklahoma City Bombing will be avoided, but it is the same conservative white folks privilege to dominate society that is being asserted. Instead of responding appropriately to the quotidian fact of the failure of a political initiative, these folks pump themselves up to claim that they can somehow precipitate a violent revolution that will reestablish the social dominance they never really had in the first place. Pretty clearly, some folks thought that they could stir up the kind of civil crisis that brought down the variously numbered Republics before the current one. It would appear that they were wrong, so now they are having a bunch of tantrums. It is a good bet that they are squandering a good bit of what political capital they had going into this.

    There is also a bunch of murky stuff about what happens to authoritarian followers when their leadership screws them over as the music stops and there are not enough chairs to sit down on.

  • Monoceros Forth

    You forgot about the UN black helicopters swooping in to confiscate everyone’s handguns.

  • Naja pallida

    Might not being saying that because this has nothing to do with the the French government, or French society as a whole, but of a vocal and active minority who can’t cope with their country stepping into the current century. Whereas in India, it is the opposite; government is part of the problem. By dragging their feet, and having far too many in power without the courage to address the institutionalized misogyny they have as a society.

  • Judge2be

    Lets boycott all French products! That’ll show em. Just like you Advocate doing to India. That’ll show em. Why are you not saying that? Colonial attitude? Racism?

  • benb

    Those stylish white masks sure take the rough out of Rough Trade. It’s really an A&F campaign, right?

  • Jess

    They have been heard, but their stands and creative modes of protest are moronic at best. They need to move on instead of trying to monopolize marriage and dictate civil doctrines

  • Ninong

    Speaking of getting the facts straight, do you realize that there were a total of seven shirtless protesters, not just the two who made it onto the center court? They were from the group “Hommen.” They describe themselves as “standard-bearers of the resistance against gay marriage.” They have already taken credit for it and the seven have admitted it to police.

    All seven were shirtless and all seven had different messages on their chests. You’re apparently only aware of the one guy who had “Kids Right” on his chest. The other five shirtless, flare-bearing protesters were in the stands of the adjacent court holding a banner in French calling on Hollande to resign.

    They have been detained and are being questioned by police. Try to “get your facts straight before you point the finger” and make a fool of yourself!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    It was my soba reflection.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I would have missed it entirely if it weren’t for those 250+ dollar store glasses.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    justsayin’: yadda, yadda

  • ericxdc

    does it matter to you that you’re wrong? the protesters were from France’s anti-gay marriage group HOMMEN. Please google “French Open protest” if you need to catch up on the facts.

    And, why do you assume calling out bigots is equal to bashing conservatives? For example, In England the conservative (Tory) party is the one that successfully pushed for marriage equality.

    Sure sounds like you’re being awfully defensive and, unfortunately, rather transparent in bias. You really need to get your facts right before spewing lies. Just sayin’…

  • JerryBallew

    The HUGE difference between the U.S. and France is that citizens are afraid of their government in the U.S., but government are afraid of their citizens in France.

  • JerryBallew

    Just like the Catholics since Torquemada. Fighting fire with flesh.

  • Stan

    Jess, What does tennis have to do with marriage equality anyway?

    thanks to this action is well known that in France things goes wrong. the french president is not loved. Now you know the world is a big protest against him. Vouss know a secret police exists in France and hundreds arrested without grounds are made ​​in France on opponents of President Holland.
    They are just trying to be heard by all means

  • justsayin’

    Sorry to crash the conservative-bashing party here, BUT these were not right wing anti-gay marriage protesters. Didn’t anyone (INCLUDING THE JOURNALISTS!!!) read the signs or the sharpie messages on the shirtless guy? They were NOT protesting gay marriage. There was NOTHING about gay marriage. These were left wingers protesting FOR Children’s Rights…you know the UN’s agenda to globally curtail parental rights. You know…the UN agenda that hides behind UNICEF in order to attack home-schooling, issue birth control to 10 years olds, support child-parental lawsuits, to outlaw a pop-on-the-butt from a parents, and support NAMBLA’s age-of consent laws, etc etc etc. all under the guise of protecting children. Get your facts straight before you point the finger.

  • FresnoGayMan

    That was the third protest by “the lesbian” calling for the president to honor a pledge he made while campaigning to sign an anti-discrimination executive order, a promise still not kept. Nevertheless, I don’t approve of interrupting events.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Just awful, karmanot, just awful.

  • lileasy

    Ramen.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “it was more about the lesbian than the putative issue.” Got it entirely wrong. It was about a very serious issue. Do I detect a bit of prejudice in the “more about the lesbian.”

  • Ty Morgan

    Just goes to show you, there are bigots everywhere.

  • Jess

    What does tennis have to do with marriage equality anyway? These pathetic church creeps will do anything to get televised screen time.

  • ckg1

    I think we would have all wanted to see Rafael Nadal or David Ferrer drill these idiots with some well-placed tennis shots aimed directly at the protester’s heads or nether regions.

    Rule #1: If you go onto the field of play when you aren’t supposed to, you deserve whatever happens to you. Just look at the many fans who have trespassed onto NFL fields only to get blasted into next month.

    Remember, a few years ago a top female player was stabbed DURING a tournament.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Protests in favor of gay rights = Never violent.

    Protests against gay rights = Frequently violent.

    A man and a woman walk down the street holding hands = Nothing happens to them. Two men or two women do the same thing = Shouted slurs, threats of violence, and assaults.

    I think how they behave says everything about the motivations of the anti-gay bigots: Hatred, intolerance, and a lust for violence.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “Tight pants, muscled physique. It’s like all the homo and none of the” package.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yep.

  • http://www.derekwilliams.net Derek Williams

    Why do these cowardly POS wear masks? Because they’re cowardly POS, that’s why.

  • caphillprof

    Is it about the message or the need for self notoriety? When the lesbian heckled the First Lady it was more about the lesbian than the putative issue. I think the same here. These are young men in need of attention and, apparently, boyfriends.

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