Anti-Gay Marriage Protesters Barge into French Open Final

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Monday June 10, 2013

Demonstrators protesting France's legalization of same-sex marriage, took to the tennis courts this weekend, disrupting the final match of the French Open on Sunday. CBS News reports.

"Two protesters appeared shirtless in one of the front rows behind the players' bench on center court at the end of the sixth game of the second set," CBS News writes. "One of them let off a flare and leapt onto the court."

Security reacted quickly and the masked protester carrying the lit flare, was tackled on the court and escorted towards the players' exit.

The match was between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer, both from Spain. Nadal, who ended up winning the match and now has eight French Open wins, first jogged towards the players' locker room exit when the protesters rushed the tennis court, but he was quickly told to turn around as one of the protesters headed in the same direction.

Reuters notes that two other protesters were escorted from the stands by security earlier that day.

In April, France legalized same-sex marriage, after a national debate exposed the country's extreme social conservatism, which triggered large anti-gay protests and even violence against the LGBT community.

Just days before the France's government voted to recognize marriage equality, the Associated Press reported four people were detained on suspicion of carrying out an attack against a gay bar. Even after the vote, tens of thousands of people protested the decision in Paris. The protest ended with riot police shooting tear gas.

Last month, a gay couple in the southern French city of Montpellier became the country's first same-sex couple to tie the knot in France. The ceremony was televised but was also under tight police surveillance and security.

Watch a clip of the incident below: