QUEER VOICES
05/03/2013 03:06 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

French Mayor Thierry Speitel Receives Bullets In Mail After Speaking Openly About Being Gay

Yet another politician in France has received bullets in the mail.

This time around, small-town Mayor Thierry Speitel was mailed two bullets after he interviewed with a French-language daily newspaper and spoke openly about being gay, discussing his relationship with his partner.

According to Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace (DNA), which printed the interview with Speitel on April 26, an anonymous person taped the bullets to a copy of the article, which had been scribbled over with homophobic slurs. The town clerk of Sigolsheim, a small village in northeastern France where Speitel serves as mayor, discovered the threat Thursday morning after opening the letter.

Speitel, who reported the incident to local authorities Thursday afternoon, is refusing to stay quiet about the contents of the letter.

"I am not a dog. I refuse to close my mouth when someone takes aim at me," Speitel told DNA, calling the negative gesture "abominable."

Though an investigation into the package is ongoing, France 3 Alsace reports that the post office was not able to determine the exact origin of the letter, aside from the region where it was placed in a mailbox.

The very literal warning is the latest in a long series of instances in which French politicians who have supported controversial legislation across a broad range of issues have received ammunition by mail. However, the threat has recently become more commonly associated with gay marriage opposition in France.

Ahead of the final vote on gay marriage last week, the head of the National Assembly received gunpowder, along with a death threat, in the mail. Despite the warning to delay the final review of the "marriage for all" legislation, the vote went off without a hitch, and gay marriage was legalized in France on April 23.

"I do not understand the fear of each other," Speitel said during his initial interview with DNA on the topic of gay marriage. "We are not subhuman. Nothing was taken from anyone. We just gave the same rights to everyone."

After the threat, Speitel received an outpouring of support, including a call from Fabienne Keller, who serves as a senator for a nearby region, France 3 Alsace reports. A Facebook group in Speitel's name has also been created in response to the "unacceptable" incident of intolerance. At the time this story was published, the group had more than 1,100 members.

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