Notre-Dame lesbian 'marriage' ends in punch up

6th June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 5 (AFP) - A priest was slightly hurt Sunday at Paris's famed Notre-Dame cathedral when clashes broke out between church security personnel and gay rights activists who performed a mock marriage of two lesbians.

PARIS, June 5 (AFP) - A priest was slightly hurt Sunday at Paris's famed Notre-Dame cathedral when clashes broke out between church security personnel and gay rights activists who performed a mock marriage of two lesbians.  

About 20 members of the group Act Up entered the cathedral and proceeded to perform the mock marriage, before baffled tourists and worshippers, according to an AFP correspondent at the scene.  

One militant - dressed as a priest - pronounced the two women married, while other Act UP members chanted: "Pope Benedict XVI, homophobe, AIDS accomplice."  

With security officials in pursuit, the militants fled the cathedral, but clashes broke out outside the Paris landmark, during which Monsignor Patrick Jacquin suffered a minor neck injury. He was treated at the scene.  

The demonstration marked the first anniversary of France's first gay wedding, performed last year in the Bordeaux suburb of Begles. The union of two men has since been declared null and void by the French courts.  

"They are savages. I was pushed to the ground and trampled, kicked in the neck. It's a scandal for these people to lash out at me and the pope," Jacquin told AFP.  

Jacquin said he was considering filing charges against what he called "barbaric, odious and scandalous acts."  

The president of Act Up Paris, Jerome Martin - who participated in Sunday's demonstration - told AFP by telephone that he also had been hit in the melee, but said the priest had exaggerated the actual events.  

"We did not want to be aggressive with respect to the worshippers... the aggressive security detail wanted to rip up our banner," he said.  

Earlier, the Act Up militants demonstrated outside Paris city hall, denouncing homophobia and calling for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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