France suffers growing percentage of homophobic attacks prompting the government to take action
ACCORDING to figures released by France’s interior ministry, homophobic attacks and insults in France rose by 36 per cent last year, prompting the government to discuss an “anchoring” of homophobia in the country.
The figures released on Saturday show a steady increase in offences and come on the eve of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and 30 years after the withdrawal of homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses by the World Health Organisation.
in 2019 the police identified 1,870 victims of homophobic or transphobic offences, compared to 1,380 in 2018. Advocates had previously described 2018 as a “black” year, with an unequalled level of physical violence against LGBT people.
Thirty-three per cent of the offences are insults, while violent acts (physical and sexual) make up 28 per cent of the complaints. Victims are mainly men – 75 per cent – with 62 per cent of offences perpetrated against those under 35 years of age.
LGBT associations claim that the figures do not tell the whole story, as many victims do not report crimes to the police. The SOS Homophobia association is due to publish its own figures on Monday. The report shows that incidents of homophobia are spread across the country, with 36 per cent of the complaints coming in the big cities.
Several top football matches were interrupted because of homophobic chants from the stands or the display of abusive banners and transphobic hate crimes bringing French sport under the microscope.
The law obliges platforms and search engines to remove offensive content – incitement to hate or violence and racist or religious bigotry – within 24 hours or risk a fine of up to €1.25m.