Paris vandals deface plaque to executed French gay couple

Vandals defaced a Paris plaque to the last gay couple to be put to death in France in 1750, painting it black and covering it in posters suggesting only heterosexuals should have children, city officials said Monday.

Paris vandals deface plaque to executed French gay couple
Photo: Twitter

The incident is the third of its type in as many months in the French capital and comes as the city hosts the 10th edition of the international Gay Games.

The plaque embedded in paving stones in the central Montorgueil district commemorates Bruno Lenoir, a cobbler in his twenties, and Jean Diot, a servant aged 40, who were burned alive outside Paris city hall on July 6, 1750 after being caught engaging in homosexual activity.

They were the last couple to be put to death for homosexuality, which was decriminalised in 1791.

A picture tweeted by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo showed that the plaque had been smeared in black paint and covered with sheets of paper reading: “To make a child I must be a man and not gay”.



This is the second time the metal plate has been targeted since May, when bouquets of flowers laid at the site were set alight.

In a separate incident in June, vandals scrawled homophobic insults on a pedestrian crossing in the Marais district — the epicentre of Paris's LGBT community — that had been repainted in the rainbow colours of the gay pride flag.

Hidalgo, a Socialist, said she was “shocked by this latest shameful demonstration of homophobia”. 

SEE ALSO: Colourful parade opens 10th Gay Games in Paris

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‘Not football’s job’ to combat homophobia: French football chief

The head of French football has pulled away from a hardline stance against homophobic chanting and banners in stadiums on Friday, saying that "too many matches" have been stopped due to anti-gay abuse.

'Not football's job' to combat homophobia: French football chief

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said that the FFF would not instruct referees to stop matches except in cases when a “whole stadium” was guilty of homophobic chanting.

“I think we're stopping too many matches! That makes certain government ministers happy, but it bothers me. Football can't be taken hostage by vulgarity,” said Le Graet in an interview with newspaper Ouest-France.

Several matches have been temporarily halted in France this season after the French football League (LFP) introduced over the summer plans to tackle fan homophobia during matches, including allowing referees to stop games.

“Matches have been stopped when they shouldn't have been,” Le Graet continued.

“We will stop them if there is consistent homophobic abuse from the whole ground, but if among 30,000 people there are 2,000 imbeciles I don't see why the other 28,000 should be punished.”

Le Graet referred to France's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who in April launched the appeal for matches to be stopped in the event of homophobic abuse, and equalities minister Marlene Schiappa.

Schiappa publicly praised referee Clement Turpin after he stopped Marseille's 2-1 win at Nice for over 10 minutes last month following sustained abusive chanting and banners from home fans, but Le Graet insisted that it wasn't football's job to combat homophobia.

Paris Saint-Germain's match at Metz two days later was also briefly halted for a banner unfurled by the hosts' supporters asking the French league (LFP) to allow them to aim homophobic chants at PSG.

“Did football invent homophobia? You can be a know-it-all when you have got much to say. But there are more important political issues,” he said.

“This crisis will resolve itself. We will work with club presidents, people who don't stick their oar in every morning, who don't want to just look good in front of the television cameras.”