Gay attack victim in France becomes cause celebre, as senate debates same-sex marriage law

The photo of a homophobic attack victim in Paris that went viral on social media is being used as an emblem in a pro-gay rally, as French gay groups say homophobic acts have tripled because of opposition to a law legalizing gay marriage.

Wilfred de Bruijn was beaten unconscious near his home early Sunday in central Paris, sustaining five fractures in his head and face, abrasions and a lost tooth.

After posting a photo of his wounds on Facebook, the image went viral and de Bruijn has become a national cause celebre of the pro-gay campaign. Several hundred people are expected at a pro-gay rally Wednesday evening.

Opponents of the gay marriage bill insist their movement is opposed to violence.