Warning sent to politician as gay marriage vote nears
Tensions over the French parliament’s final vote Tuesday on a same-sex marriage bill reached a new height on Monday when Claude Bartolone, president of the lower house, received an envelope filled with gunpowder and a menacing note.
Tensions over the French parliament’s final vote this week on a same-sex marriage bill reached a new height on Monday when Claude Bartolone, president of the lower house, received an envelope filled with gunpowder and a menacing note asking for the vote to be delayed.
"Citizen Bartolone, with this letter we formally ask you to delay the vote on same-sex marriage,” read the letter, from a group calling itself the Interaction of the Forces of Order. “Our methods are more radical and direct than demonstrations. You wanted war, you've got it."
The letter arrived a day before the National Assembly, or lower house, was to conduct the final vote on a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children.
Opposition has become increasingly fierce in recent weeks, with thousands of people taking to the streets in Paris on Sunday in opposition to the proposed law. Gay couples have been attacked, clashes have erupted between opponents of gay marriage and police, and politicians have been threatened.
Far-right groups have joined demonstrations condemning the bill -- angering the more moderate opponents of same-sex marriage, including the opposition Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party.
"I completely reject the suggestion that there is collusion of any kind with extremists," said François Copé, the head of the UMP.
According to the latest polls, almost 60 percent of the French population supports the gay marriage bill. And President François Hollande campaigned on the issue in his 2012 campaign, promising “marriage for all”.
Monday’s letter may have been designed to recall the infamous Gunpowder Plot of Guy Fawkes, who conspired to blow up the British parliament in 1605.