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Masked man disrupts French Open to protest legalization of same-sex marriage

Sunday, June 9, 2013
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PARIS — Protesters, upset by recent legislation in France allowing for same-sex marriages, disrupted the French Open tennis final on Sunday between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.

One topless spectator wearing a white mask surged from the crowd with a fiery flare spurting white smoke briefly interrupted the match as Nadal was about to serve for the second set. The man had the words “Kids right” written on his belly.

The trespasser was among several demonstrators at the match, and reportedly were members of the right-wing political party UMP, who act out against same-sex marriage and gay adoption.

Petr David Josek, AP
A demonstrator tries to invade center court as Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays David Ferrer during the men’s final match of the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Sunday.

Michel Spingler, AP
A security guard removes a demonstrator who ran onto center court as Spain’s Rafael Nadal plays against compatriot David Ferrer in the final of the French Open tennis tournament in Paris on Sunday.

Security personnel wrested the man to the ground and quickly hauled him away.

Security officers also expelled a man and a woman from the Court Philippe Chatrier after they held a banner that read in French: “Help! France is trampling on children’s rights.”

Another man and a woman held a similar banner in English and shouted slogans.

Five topless protesters also brandishing red flares and wearing white masks climbed to the top of the adjacent Court Suzanne Lenglen and unfurled a banner calling for the resignation of French President Francois Hollande.

Christophe Fagniez, the tournament’s director of operations, later said, “The situation is under control; it’s in the hands of the police.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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