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Gays Kiss Amid Threats of Violence at Valentine's Action in Paris


Maxime from Paris writes to us about a Valentine's Day kiss-in held there earlier today:

"The "kiss-in" had originally been planned to take place in front of Notre Dame Cathedral but Christian Fundamentalist websites called in to "defend their faith against this provocation" using 'aids bags', 'sodomites' and other homophobic insults. The websites called for a violent response so the organizers decided to change the location to place Saint Michel in the nearby Latin Quarter, after the police strongly encouraged it, saying they could not protect them in case of trouble. The kiss in was held peacefully at St-Michel but some gays went to Notre Dame anyway and witnesses are saying 200 Christian activists were expecting them, and after they started kissing, they were attacked with motorbike helmets and kicked."

Today's is the latest in a series of kiss-ins (check the other out here, here, and here) in Paris, and participants say the number of those participating in each successive event is growing.

Watch video of today's kiss-in in the Latin Quarter, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. this is rubbish. the organizer of the event was staging a very political action. and when that action was challenged, immediately ceded the location. what message does this send? i understand not wanting violence at this sort of event, but why not consider the repercussions in advance? this is absolutely misguided.

    Posted by: mld | Feb 14, 2010 12:23:52 PM

  2. I don't understand. Nobody does personal liberty and freedom as France does. The greatest of our world's democracies borrow their model.

    Paris has got Le Marais... the only place where LGBTs are comfortable. It's pretty sad. We need le PS back in power.

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Feb 14, 2010 12:34:53 PM

  3. On this Valentine's day, as we all celebrate with our loved ones, let's remember that there are still 80 countries in the world with state-sponsored homophobia. 5 of those (Uganda as possibly the sixth) mandate the DEATH PENALTY.

    Posted by: bading | Feb 14, 2010 12:38:15 PM

  4. I'm no longer a Christian, but didn't Jesus teach us to love one another, eschew violence, and follow the golden rule? WWJD? I don't think Jesus would be throwing around motorcycle helmets LOL...

    Posted by: Fred | Feb 14, 2010 12:51:22 PM

  5. What a great example of non-violent protest!!! This should become a movement, a way to show the simple power of a kiss and the beauty of love between two people. Let the religious bigots get violent. It will show them for what they truly are: hateful, intolerant, and vile.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Feb 14, 2010 1:05:12 PM

  6. "We can't protect you." The police no longer protect people from violence? Wonderful.

    Posted by: PistolPetey | Feb 14, 2010 2:06:10 PM

  7. Piss boy! Oui oui? Yes, lots of it.

    Well there you have it. Peaceful religious lunatics, huh? They don't exist. When delusion is believed, it almost always turns to violence when reality sneaks up.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 14, 2010 2:13:04 PM

  8. the french should remember they obtained their freedom lead by a women dressed as a man religion onlr preaches hate 90% of the world's problem today is the fault of organized religion catholics hate protestants jews hate muslims muslims basically hate everyone including other muslims if there was no religion what would everyone fight about. everyones god is the best maybe the ancient greeks had it right when the gods fought it out/

    Posted by: walter | Feb 14, 2010 2:51:13 PM

  9. There's just one thing about this I'd like to mention so that Americans who don't spend much time in Paris don't get the wrong impression. There are only a few neighborhoods in Paris where same-sex couples would not feel comfortable kissing or holding hands in public (and they're the same areas where you wouldn't feel that safe walking at all). Most American visitors to Paris must notice the public smooching is just much more common there than in American cities, and it applies equally to same-sex couples. On a 2-mile walk home on New Year's Eve this year, we must have encountered 30 same-sex couples kissing in the streets.
    I think kissing is a great form of political performance, but you should not feel that this protest indicates you won't feel normally feel comfortable kissing your lover in the plaza in front of Notre-Dame, because really, no one will take any notice and some elderly ladies may smile.

    Posted by: coolbearinmd | Feb 14, 2010 3:24:14 PM

  10. Coolbear, when we were in Paris just 10 years ago we saw LOTS of pdas in the Marais -- all by straight people, and NO gay kissing whatsoever even in the "gay" neighborhood.

    The people countering the gay kiss in call themselves "Catholics," by the way, not fundamentalists.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Feb 14, 2010 3:40:37 PM

  11. Coolbear, when we were in Paris just 10 years ago we saw LOTS of pdas in the Marais -- all by straight people, and NO gay kissing whatsoever even in the "gay" neighborhood.

    The people countering the gay kiss in call themselves "Catholics," by the way, not fundamentalists.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Feb 14, 2010 3:40:37 PM

  12. Christian activists? There is nothing christian about them!! They are hypocrites!

    Posted by: Harry | Feb 14, 2010 7:34:39 PM

  13. Most of christians are hypocrites anyway so it shouldn't come as a surprise!

    And yes, French people love their PDAs

    Posted by: Alco | Feb 15, 2010 2:21:41 PM

  14. Why didn't gays just bring big crucifixes that could double as cudgels so they could beat them back?

    Maybe if the kissers had been dressed as priests with little boys, there wouldn't have been the uproar.

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Feb 15, 2010 4:43:47 PM

  15. @pistolpetey my thoughts exactly! why are they used for if not to protect citizens from violence???!
    geez, talk about double standard...
    though it serves as a great reminder that even in the so called country of free speech, freedom, humanism etc, there are still a lot of progresses to be made!
    it makes me think about something totally off lgbt subject that i saw yesterday about a chinese artist being censored at les beaux arts in paris. a chinese artist censored in paris!can you believe that?! i don't know but sometimes it just feels like our world is spinning upside down.

    Posted by: frenchylez | Feb 15, 2010 11:17:20 PM

  16. the extremist attack :

    Posted by: lola | Feb 18, 2010 8:44:22 AM

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