In France, there wages a (bizarre and perhaps unintentional) war among the country's anti-gay groups. In this war, there is apparently a race to to be, at once, more homoerotic and more homophobic than the next anti-gay group. Today we meet La Manif Pour Tous, who decided a bunch of very fit shirtless men straddling a giant pole is the best way to flaunt their anti-gay stance.
"Shirtless guys ... on top of one another ... clutching a giant pole ... in pink shorts and those guys are protesting gay marriage? This has to be some kind of joke," your brain is probably telling you. But we kid you not. Those men are holding the logo La Manif Pour Tous, an anti-gay group in France, and are featured on the group's Facebook page. And while those boys look like an ad for a gay adult summer camp, this trend of homoerotic homophobia is actually going on in France.
France legalized same-sex marriage this past May, and has seen a bevy of protests and clashes between supporters and opponents. That big gay vs. anti-gay battle has been punctuated by protests from the anti-gay group Hommen, whose members look rather like the gay men they're protesting against:
Most recently, some of the more sinewy members of Hommen stormed the beach of Montpellier (where the first legal same-sex marriage in France was performed) in tiny shorts:
And while those protests were homoerotic in their own special way, La Manif Pour Tous has them beat in that way that shirtless men on top of another to clutch and climb a large phallic object can. Unlike Hommen, there are pictures of less sinewy members on La Manif's pages, and there do appear to be some female protesters. But there's also male hip-popping and posing:
And one more shot of the pole-riding boys:
Like Hommen, La Manif explains that the focus of these flamboyant, sometimes shirtless, protests is children, who are apparently the true victims of same-sex marriage:
With plenary adoption for two men or two women, children will be considered, by law, born of two parents of the same sex, thus willingly deprived of a father or a mother. They will be deprived of half their origins. This is profoundly discriminatory and unjust for children [...]
The people of France must stand up for its children, its future...and humankind, made up of man and woman.
And apparently, the nothing gets that message across better than buff shirtless men and a giant pole.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.