Right-wing and anti-gay French historian Dominique Venner shot himself at approximately 4:00 pm on Tuesday in the Notre Dame Cathedral in front of 1,500 people. He left a suicide letter on the alter of the famous Parisian church.
Venner was a member of France’s far-right and nationalist group, Front National. He had published a number of recent essays against same-sex marriage and adoption. As an activist and essayist, he criticized liberal philosophy and progression, calling the recent legislation legalizing same-sex marriages and adoptions in France “vile law.”
“I believe it is necessary to sacrifice myself to break with the lethargy that is overwhelming us,” he wrote. “I am killing myself to awaken slumbering consciences.”
Additionally, in his last essay, he wrote of his feelings on diversity and immigration in France. Specifically, he had trouble with African immigration and called on activists to see that “French and European identities” were cherished.
The far-right nationalist group, Front National, is led by Marine Le Pen.
On Twitter, Le Pen wrote, “All respect to Dominique Venner whose final, eminently political act was to try to wake up the people of France.”
She continued, “it is in life and hope that France will renew and save itself.”
Since France legalized same-sex marriage and adoption, there has been increasing violence. Rallies have erupted in the streets and other forms of anti-gay sentiment have surfaced.