Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/23 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/23 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/21 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/21 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 05/22 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/21 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 05/22 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/21 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 05/22 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 05/21 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Urgent
Nineteen people killed and at least 59 injured in a suspected terror attack at Manchester Arena.
France

French MPs, media accused of playing down Orlando attack homophobia

media A vigil in Paris for the victims of the Orlando massacre, 12 June 2016 Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP

French politicians from across the political spectrum have been reacting to the attack that killed 49 at a gay club in the United States. While not denying parallels with the November Paris attacks, LGBT groups say the homophobic nature of the shooting in Orlando, Florida, is being downplayed.

“No one is talking about the homophobic nature of this attack,” Arnaud Gautier, of the umbrella group Inter-LGBT, told RFI.

“Every political leader has been on Facebook, Twitter, TV, radio, and only two called it a homophobic attack: the prime minister [Manuel Valls] and the Mayor of Paris [Anne Hidalgo].”

Most politicians expressed solidarity with the United States and denounced terrorism, some renewing calls for increased security in France as a result.

On Monday French President François Hollande, after tweeting a general message of solidarity with the American people on Sunday night, wrote that this was an attack on "the freedom to live one's sexual orientation and way of life".

Caroline Mecary, a Paris lawyer and LGBT-rights advocate, says not calling the Orlando massacre a homophobic attack amounts to homophobia.

“Yes, this was a terrorist attack, of course,” she told RFI. “But if you don’t say that it was at a gay bar – and a symbolic gay bar for LGBT rights in Orlando – you erase the homophobic dimension of this attack and it becomes a kind of unconscious homophobia. It’s a way of avoiding talking about homosexuality and it lessens the odious nature of the crime.”

Gay marriage opponents declare sympathy

The Manif pour tous, the organisation that led mass rallies against France’s gay marriage law in 2013, also tweeted sympathy for the Orlando victims, as did Christine Boutin, a politician and former minister, who was fined in 2015 for having called homosexuality an abomination.

Mecary was one of many to react negatively to these tweets, telling Boutin to keep her compassion to herself.

The Manif pour tous and Christine Boutin "spearheaded the idea of the inequality of rights,” Mecary said. “Those who say inequality of rights, say inferiority of homosexuals to heterosexuals. And that allows people who are weak to feel they can abuse and spit on homosexuals.”

Paris Gay Pride to go ahead

Despite concerns about homophobia and homophobic attacks, the organisers of Paris Gay Pride say that nothing will change.

“There is no way we’re going to stop marching for pride,” said one of them, Arnaud Gautier.

It was originally scheduled for 25 June but security officials asked for the march to be moved a week later, to 2 July, because the original date coincided with a Euro 2016 football game in Paris.

The Orlando massacre may mean even more security, but even so, Gautier says, the march will be held: “People ask us, 'Why are you still marching in 2016?' This is the answer. What happened [in Orlando] is the proof that we need to keep marching for our rights, against violence, against murder and for more equality.” 

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.