PARIS — A far-right anti-gay marriage activist on Tuesday committed suicide at the altar of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, just three days after French President Francois Hollande signed into law a measure authorizing marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
Venner made no declaration as he shot himself around mid-afternoon, a police source said. He carried a letter on his person, but its contents were not released to the media.
Earlier on Tuesday, Venner had written a damning critique of the same-sex marriage bill on his blog, and appealed to readers to join a protest of the law planned for Sunday. The rambling essay was a tirade against gay marriage, but also a warned that the “population of France and Europe” was going to be “replaced” and brought under “Islamist control” and “sharia law.”
“New spectacular and symbolic actions are needed to wake up the sleep walkers and shake the anaesthetised consciousness,” he wrote. “We are entering a time when acts must follow words.”
“It’s unfortunate, it’s dramatic, it’s shocking,” the rector of Notre-Dame, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, told the Associated Press.