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Report: Anti-gay attacks in France up 78 percent in 2013

Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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PARIS — A French gay rights groups says attacks against the LGBT community increased by 78 percent in France in 2013.

Anti-gay marriage activists hold smoke flares with the color of the logo of the movement during a rally to protest the new law after French lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Paris.Michel Euler, AP

Anti-gay marriage activists hold smoke flares with the color of the logo of the movement during a rally to protest the new law after French lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, in Paris.

A report published Tuesday by watchdog group SOS Homophobie says the rise is largely due to the government’s legalization of same-sex marriage, which they assert fostered a climate of hate against France’s LGBT community.

SOS Homophobie blamed the anti-gay group Manif Pour Tous for inciting much of the violence and for a number of high profile attacks on members of the gay community.

The group says it received 3,500 reports of anti-LGBT acts, a rise of 78 per cent on 2012.

Acts range from verbal attacks via social networking sites, on the street or at work, to threats and physical attacks.

The report stated that 39 percent of cases were of verbal attacks, physical six percent, while anti-LGBT abuse via social networking rose from 656 incidents to a staggering 1,723.

The number of harassment in school rose by 25 percent.

“There’s no doubt the rise in homophobic acts was linked to the context of the opposition against gay marriage,” SOS Homophobie spokesperson Gregory Premon told The Local on Tuesday.

“Homophobic words and statements became trivialized during this period and helped legitimize insults and homophobic violence,” he said.

“In recent months homophobic language has become completely unabashed in all spheres of society,” SOS Homophobie said, in its report.

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