Some Ukrainian women from a human rights group called “FEMEN” took to the streets of Paris over the weekend, going topless and wearing nun habits in support of same-sex marriage. The protesters emerged in an effort to combat Catholics who also went out en masse (100,000 people marched in the streets) to rail against government plans to legalize gay unions.
It didn’t take long for the situation to erupt into utter chaos, with some comic, fascinating and — some may even argue — disturbing images emerging from the clash. Let’s just say that FEMEN protesters and Catholic gay marriage critics didn’t quite get along.
The Huffington Post has more about the dueling sides who faced off in an effort to advocate their views on the controversial issue:
On Sunday, the Catholic group Civitas organized the march of several thousand anti-gay protesters in Paris, according to the Associated Press.
Topless Femen activists dressed as nuns met the Catholic protesters, according to Gay Star News. The “nuns” sprayed powdered “sperm” from bottles and chanted pro-gay slogans. They donned the phrase “In Gay We Trust” on their bare chests.
The topless women had other offensive notes painted on their bodies as well. They read, ’F**k God’ and “F**k Church,” among other related messages. Clearly, their angst was aimed at the Catholic Church’s views on homosexuality and the institution of marriage.
What both sides likely thought would be a peaceful rally quickly turned volatile, with reports that both camps were chasing and attacking one another. FEMEN announced alleged assaults on its Twitter page, writing, “French religious nationalists have beaten the FEMEN sextremists during the homophobic catholic demonstration…”
Watch the chaos erupt, below (caution: violence/nudity):
According to Russia Today, the activists, known for going topless during demonstrations, reported that two of the women were injured during the chaos. One purportedly lost a tooth and another allegedly broke her nose. Now, in the wake of the scuffle, the group promises revenge for the actions taken against them by the anti-gay marriage protesters.
“Femen promises not to forget this incident and to take revenge on the organizers in the best Christian tradition: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” the group announced on its web site (pictures of alleged acts of violence taken against them can be viewed here).
French President Francois Hollande has reiterated his wish to see same-sex marriage legalized — a promise he made during his campaign. France will soon debate both gay unions and adoption and reportedly consider the legality of both.