Monday, April 22, 2013

Pro-Equality French Politicians Face Terrorist Threats

From The Local
  Claude Bartolone, the Socialist president of France’s Assemblée Nationale (lower house of parliament) on Monday received a threatening letter containing gunpowder and demanding he defer a parliamentary vote, expected to definitively legalize gay marriage on Tuesday... 
  "...Allowing marriage for all would be the same as destroying all marriage," the letter says, before making the chilling threat: "If you were to carry on regardless, your political family will have to suffer physically." 
Last week, Socialist deputies Sylviane Bulteau and Hugues Fourage were sent letters from anti-gay marriage extremists, threatening to kidnap and kill them or their loved ones, if the gay marriage bill is not withdrawn. 
Earlier this month, Senator Esther Benbassa said her car was trashed – a move she believed was linked to her support for the bill – and that she had received threatening phone calls, emails and letters. 
Erwann Binet, a Socialist MP who supports the bill, has been forced to cancel planned debates for security reasons after being heckled by far-right militants, who have taken a front seat in the current furore over the bill.
And no, I do not believe that terrorism is not too strong a word for what is going on in France with these threats. It is one thing to say "If you vote for this, we will vote you out of office." That is democracy in a nutshell. It is quite another thing to say "If you vote for this, we will physically hurt you." That  is terrorism, pure and simple. The lengths that these violent people are willing to go to stop equality exemplifies how important that equality actually is. No one should be subject to this whether it is because of who they are or what they believe, especially if they believe that we should all be seen as equals under the law. Of course, the irony is that many of these people are doing what they are doing in the name of Christ, who would never advocate or participate in such actions.

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