French Anti-Gay Activist Shoots and Kills Self at Notre Dame
French right-wing historian Dominique Venner shot and killed himself on the altar of Paris' famed Notre Dame Cathedral today at 4PM local time in front of throngs of tourists in protest of France's recent legalization of same-sex marriage.
As the Daily Mail reports, Dominique Venner, who had recently been campaigning against gay marriage in France, is said to have calmly walked past the crowds milling around the 850-year-old Cathedral, one of the most popular tourist sites in the world, before taking out a Herstal automatic pistol. The 78-year-old put the gun in his mouth and fired before collapsing on to the altar.
According to International Business Times, French newspaper "Le Monde pointed out that Venner held extreme right-wing views and wrote a blog with posts denouncing gay marriage and expressing fears of an Islamic takeover of France. In his latest blog post, Venner referred to the anti-gay marriage protests planned for May 26 in France. "
The Daily Mail goes on to say that "Venner, an ultra-right wing Catholic, was known to be extremely angry when a law allowing gay marriage across France was finally given the seal of approval earlier this month when the bill was signed into law by French President Francois Hollande.
The International Business Times further reports that "Agence France Presse had other excerpts of Venner's post dated May 21, which reportedly was near Venner's body when police discovered the suicide.
"It is here and now that our fate is played, until the last second. And this last second has as much importance as the rest of a life. That is why one has to be oneself until the last moment," Venner wrote."
The incident caused police to close the Cathedral, which which is seen by over 14 million tourists each year and is among the most visited sites in Paris.