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Homophobic attacks in France rose almost 30 percent last year

An activist organization warned on Tuesday that anti-LGBTQ prejudice remains “anchored” in society, citing a rise in the number of homosexual and trans persons reporting violent attacks in France last year.

In a study, SOS Homophobie (SOS Homophobia) stated that it received slightly over 1,500 reports of homophobic or other discriminatory behavior through its website and hotline in 2022, almost the same number as the previous year.

However, there was a 28% rise in complaints of physical attacks, to 184, or about one every two days.

“Despite changes in the law and in people’s attitudes, LGBT people can’t live freely as they are today,” SOS Homophobie leader Joel Deumier told AFP.

According to the research, violent crimes against gay and trans persons include “ambushes set up using dating apps” and frequently have “superficial or non-existent motives.”

A knife assault on a male couple in the metro, two ladies discovering their car had been repeatedly spat on, a young guy pummeled by five assailants, and another informed by his neighbor that “your kind doesn’t deserve to live” were among the complaints they received.

Discrimination reported included estate agents refusing to sell or rent to LGBTQ couples or families, and public facilities such as stores and libraries refusing to admit non-binary or trans people.

SOS Homophobie highlighted instances of transphobic incidents, which grew by 27% last year to 227.

According to the group, schools in particular “frequently refuse any kind of administrative changes” to students’ genders.

SOS Homophobie encouraged the government to start a “national awareness campaign,” devote more resources to investigate homophobic and transphobic crimes, and better training for police officers, some of whom continue to refuse to take such accusations.

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