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France

78 per cent rise in homophobic incidents in France in 2013, campaigners

media Photos posted by Wilfred de Bruijn (L) and "Sylvain" on Facebook after the alleged attacks Screengrab Facebook

French gay rights campaigners claim there was a 78 per cent leap in homophobic acts in 2013. They blame the campaign against gay marriage for creating a climate of hatred that led to public insults and physical attacks.

The SOS Homophobie campaign received 3,500 reports of “lesbophobia, gayphobia, biphobia and transphobia”, a rise of 78 per cent on 2012, according to its annual report, published Tuesday.

The cases range from insults on the internet, in the street or at work to threats and physical attacks.

According to the report:

  • Insults made up 39 per cent of cases;
  • Physical attacks made up six per cent but rose 54 per cent to one every two days;
  • The number of homophobic statements reported on the internet “soared” from 656 to 1,723;
  • The number of cases in schools “continued to rise” - by 25 per cent last year.

The organisation blames the campaign against the government’s legalisation of gay marriage for the rise.

“We can welcome the passing of the law on marriage for all … of this new step towards equality,” it comments but “this victory leaves a bitter taste in the mouth” because the language used by its opponents “legitimised homophobic insults and violence”.

“In recent months homophobic language has become completely unabashed in all spheres of society,” it concludes.

The alleged attackers of a gay couple in April last year appeared in court in Paris on 6 May.
 

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