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Paris gay couple say they were beaten amid rise in homophobic attacks

Paris gay couple say they were beaten amid rise in homophobic attacks

PARIS — A gay couple in Paris said they were attacked and beaten on Saturday for walking arm-in-arm in what LGBT advocates in the country say is indicative of a rise in anti-gay attacks in France since Parliament began debating a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage.

Wilfred de Bruijn (via Facebook)

Wilfred de Bruijn posted news of the attack on Facebook, along with a photograph showing his injuries, which included a missing tooth and skull fracture, reported The Local.

“Sorry to show you this,” the victim wrote. “It’s the face of homophobia. Last night 19th arrondissement (municipal district), Paris, Olivier and I were badly beaten just for walking arm in arm.

“I woke up in an ambulance covered in blood, missing tooth and broken bones around the eye.

“I’m home now. Very sad.”

The attack has provoked anger among France’s gay community at a time when the country’s Senate is debating a marriage equality bill.

Elizabeth Ronzier, President of gay-rights group SOS Homophobie, called the attack a “shocking and incredibly violent incident.”

“We have seen a thirty percent rise in the number of homophobic incidents since October,” she told The Local. “This is a result of the opposition towards the gay marriage bill.”

Gay rights groups are set to hold a protest on Wednesday in response to the attack against De Bruijn.

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