Dominique Venner, a 78-year-old French historian and outspoken conservative activist, died by suicide Tuesday in what is believed to be a statement against France’s new marriage equality law.
Earlier in the day Venner had posted an essay online decrying marriage equality, warning that the population of France would soon be “replaced” and “brought under Islamist control.” He shot himself in Paris’s famous Notre Dame Cathedral, amid crowds of tourists, and medical personnel could not revive him. A little more background:
His editor, Pierre-Guillaume de Roux, acknowledged that Venner objected to same-sex marriage but said he also had concerns that went “far beyond” the issue, the BBC reports. De Roux saw similarities between Venner’s suicide and that of Yukio Mishima, the Japanese author who killed himself in 1970 after a failed coup attempt by his paramilitary group. (Note: Mishima, although married to a woman, had many same-sex lovers.)
Venner was a prolific author and historian, with some works that won mainstream praise, “including a 1981 book on the Red Army which won a prize from the Académie Française,” theIndependentnotes. But the paper adds that “much of his work has been steeped in the racist ideology of the far-right, apologising for the pro-Hitler regime in Vichy in the Second World War and warning of conspiracies to destroy European civilisation and to swamp the white race.”
The historian was a former member of the Organisation de l’Armée Secrète, an ultranationalist terrorist group that opposed independence for Algeria, which was once a French colony, and made several attempts to assassinate Charles De Gaulle, president of France in the 1960s. Venner served 18 months in prison for his activities with the group.
Whoa. No idea what to make of this.
So, this guy killed himself because OTHER PEOPLE want to get married. Really?