French LGBTQ Groups Are “extremely Concerned” About the Increase in Attacks - Latest Global News

French LGBTQ Groups Are “extremely Concerned” About the Increase in Attacks

France saw a sharp increase in anti-LGBTQ incidents in 2023, according to a report released Thursday by the French Interior Ministry. Activists warn that this increase represents a worrying trend in the country.

The report, released on the eve of World Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, documents a 13 percent increase in anti-LGBTQ crimes from 2022.

More serious crimes such as assaults, threats and harassment saw a 19 percent increase, with 2,870 cases recorded by French authorities.

“It feels as if the embers of LGBTIphobia have been ignited and now the fire is ready to spread,” said Julia Torlet, president of French activist group SOS Homophobia.

“What worries us most are the emerging trends… we are extremely concerned,” Torlet added, saying: “If the government does not act,” France risks falling back into the violence that erupted in 2013 over the legalization of same-sex marriage was observed.

According to the Home Office, the number of anti-LGBTQ incidents has risen sharply since 2016 – an average of around 17 percent per year for crimes and misdemeanors.

But these numbers only give part of the picture.

Men make up the majority of both victims and perpetrators in anti-LGBTQ incidents, at 70 and 82 percent, respectively.

In addition, the perpetrators are predominantly young: almost half of all defendants are under 30 and more than a third are under 19, the report says.

– “The worry stage is behind us” –

Although the report states that victims are now “better received” by authorities, only 20 percent of those who were subjected to threats or violence and five percent of victims of verbal abuse report it.

“We have passed the stage of concern,” Stop Homophobia spokesman Maxime Haes told AFP.

Anti-LGBTQ actions are linked to the “drastic increase in LGBT-phobic discourse,” Haes said, which he said is fueled by “the rise of the far right and religious extremism.”

The owner of a bar in Nantes, a city in western France, told regional newspaper Ouest-France that it canceled an LGBTQ-friendly event in early May over safety concerns after a poster depicting people in religious habits sparked an “outbreak of hate” online “had triggered.

And in France, 60 percent of people avoid holding hands with same-sex partners for fear of attack, according to a 2024 report by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights.

The country has also seen a rise in transphobic discourse, Haes said.

SOS Homophobia has denounced the government’s “abysmal silence” and criticized the lack of “ambitious policy” on LGBTQ issues, even after the appointment of openly gay Prime Minister Gabriel Attal earlier this year.

“Hate speech is not being combated at all by politicians,” added Stop Homophobia’s Haes.


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