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Vandals hit Paris plaque for executed gays

Jon Shelton AFP
August 6, 2018

A plaque commemorating a gay couple burnt alive at a city hall in 1750 was the target of the third attack in as many months. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo took to Twitter to decry the "shameful demonstration of homophobia."

Paris Mayor tweets image of the defaced plaque
Image: Twitter/Anne Hidalgo

A street plaque in front of Paris city hall, the Hotel de Ville, was defaced by homophobic vandals on Monday. The plaque commemorates Bruno Lenoir and Jean Diot, who were burnt to death at the site in 1750. The two were the last men to be put to death for homosexuality, which was decriminalized in 1791.

The vandals smeared the plaque with black paint and sheets of paper printed with the words: "To make a child I must be a man and not gay." 

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who opened the tenth International Gay Games on Saturday, tweeted an image of the vandalized plaque and said she was, "shocked by this latest shameful demonstration of homophobia."

The incident was the third in three months. In May, flowers placed at the site were set on fire and in another incident a crosswalk painted in rainbow colors in the city's Marais district was painted over with homophobic slurs. Marais is the heart of Paris's gay community.