France: Far-right official 'beats up' gay marriage activists

19/02/2013
Submitted by ILGA-Europe

Reposted from The Local: http://www.thelocal.fr/page/view/far-right-councillor-assaults-gay-marriage-activists#.USN302c4RLp

A local councillor from France’s far-right National Front party is in hot water with police after he was accused of physically attacking three gay–rights campaigners at a rally in the Burgundy town of Auxerre.

Councillor Richard Jacob, an elected member of Marine Le-Pen’s far-right party, allegedly shouted homophobic abuse at three gay-rights activists before pushing them down the steps of the Town Hall, police sources told TF1 television.

One of the victims was taken to hospital with a face wound, another injured his ankle whilst a third said he was kicked in the face during the fracas, which kicked off in the middle of a demonstration in favour of gay marriage on Saturday.

According to TF1 witnesses reported that Jacob started the rumpus after becoming furious at the presence of the demonstrators outside the Town Hall. The three victims have filed complaints with local police accusing Jacob of assault and using homophobic language.

The councillor, however, denies the allegations and told regional newspaper the Yonne Republican that he was “insulted” and “pushed by the demonstrators, who had blocked access to the Town Hall.

“So I defended myself,” he said.

Jacob is due to be interviewed by police this week.


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