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French LGBT group notes increase in anti-gay incidents

Campaign against gay marriage stoked insults and violence: SOS Homophobie

A French advocacy group claims that the campaign against gay marriage led to a surge in anti-LGBT discrimination in 2013, Radio France Internationale reports.

SOS Homophobie’s annual report states that the group received 3,500 reports of homophobic and transphobic discrimination, covering insults posted on the internet or heard on the streets and at work, as well as threats and physical attacks. They claim a 78-percent increase in reports of such incidents last year compared to 2012.

French President François Hollande signed off on his countrys contentious and hard-fought gay-marriage law in May 2013.

As the bill made its way through the French legislature, SOS Homophobies Elisabeth Ronzier says, reports of homophobia were trivialized. Ronzier points to assaults like the one against gay couple Wilfred de Bruijn and his partner, Olivier, that occurred in Pariss 19th arrondissement in April last year. De Bruijn says he woke up in an ambulance after the attack, covered in blood,missing a tooth and with broken bones around the eye, Pink News reported at the time.

Not long after that attack, three men are alleged to have punched and kicked Raphaël Leclerc after he left a Nice nightclub with his partner.

SOS Homophobie says that while the legalization of gay marriage is a welcome sign of progress, the accompanying uptick in the use of homophobic language in all spheres of society is disheartening.