Insults, spitting, discrimination and even physical violence: hatred against LGBT + people remains “rooted” in French society, is alarmed, in its annual report published on Tuesday, the association SOS Homophobia, which calls on the government to “act much more resolutely” against this scourge.
Thanks to its listening line and its digital spaces, in 2022 the association collected some 1,500 reports relating to situations of homophobic or transphobic hatred, i.e. a more or less stable level compared to the previous year.
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Ten after the “marriage for all” law, the evolution is on the other hand “worrying” concerning physical attacks, up 28% between 2021 and 2022, i.e. one every two days, underlined Joël Deumier, co-president from the Association. “Despite the evolution of laws and mentalities, today LGBT people still cannot live freely, as they are,” he lamented.
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The violence, which can take the form of “ambushs stretched via dating applications”, sometimes falls on the victims “for futile and often non-existent reasons”, summarize the authors of the report.
They cite numerous cases, such as that of a couple of men who were stabbed in the metro, of two women who discovered about twenty spit on their car, of a young man who was beaten up by five assailants or even of another harassed by his neighbor who told him: “you are of a race that does not deserve to live”.
Many testimonies report discrimination, for example concerning real estate agencies, “who refuse to rent or sell to LGBT + couples or families”. A gay couple could not rent a room in a Parisian hotel, on the grounds that “it is not possible, two men in a room with a large bed”. Similarly, a “non-binary” person was denied entry to a public library and a transgender octogenarian was denied entry to a hearing aid store.
After an increase of 13% in 2021, transphobic acts have further increased by 26% in 2022, a form of rejection “trivialized” and maintained by schools which “often refuse any administrative modification” of the gender of transgender students, denounces the report.
To stop these acts of hatred, the government must launch a “national awareness campaign”, claims SOS Homophobia, for which it would also be necessary to “strengthen the means of investigation” and better train the police and gendarmes, who still too often refuse to take victims’ complaints into account.