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Homophobic Attacks In France Up 78 Percent In 2013

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SOS Homophobie has released a set of data regarding rising incidents of homophobic acts in France in 2013, including verbal, physical, and online assaults/bullying. The disturbing data, including a statistic that "reported acts of homophobia in France rose by 78 percent," can be correlated with intense vitriolic sentiments surrounding the legalization of same-sex marriage nearly a year ago. 

The Local reports:

“In the last twenty years the number of reports of incidents [of homophobia] received by our association have not stopped growing, but in 2013 they exploded,” the group's report read.

According to the watchdog the huge surge in the number of homophobic incidents was without doubt linked to the bitter row over the legalisation of gay marriage, which divided France and led to mass demonstrations that frequently ended in violent clashes between police and extremists.

LGBTQ people in France were no doubt pleased with the progressive legislation, but it did not come without a cost.

“There’s no doubt the rise in homophobic acts was linked to the context of the opposition against gay marriage,” Gregory Premon, from SOS Homophobie told The Local on Tuesday. “Homophobic words and statements became trivialised during this period and helped legitimize insults and homophobic violence.

“In recent months homophobic speech has become totally uninhibited in all spheres of society,” the organisation added in a statement.

The organization noted a marked rise in homophobic incidents online and at schools, two arenas that are largely populated by LGBTQ youth, as well as the prevalence of physically-harmful attacks. Last April alone, a Parisian couple (one person of which can be seen above left)and a young gay man in Nice (above right) were violently beaten. 

Let's hope this disturbing trend comes to an end in 2014, aided by an increase in knowledge about and action against these homophobic incidents.


French Lesbian Abducted By Fundamentalist Anti-Gay Family

Strasbourg to Vieuzos

An unnamed 22-year-old woman fled her devout Muslim family in Strasbourg, France to live with a friend in Vieuzos in order to escape the constant persecution and abuse by said family for being a lesbian and attempts to force her into an arranged marriage. However, her family was unwilling to let her go, so her mother, father, two uncles, brother-in-law and brother - who was armed - tracked her down across the country to try to drag her back home.

During the abduction the woman's friend called the police, and her family was apprehended that night in Toulouse. Four of the relatives are in custody, while another two are free and under judicial supervision. Prosecutor Jean-Christophe Muller says that the case is complicated, but took place in a "backdrop of homophobia and anti-feminism."


Moving Google+ Marriage Equality Ad Wins International Webby Award - VIDEO

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Almost a year ago, Google+, in participation with the same-sex marriage organization "Tous Unis Pour L'Egalite" (or “Together for equality”), released a web ad showing same-sex French couples finallying marry using the organization’s help in tandem with Google’s video-chatting system, Google Hangouts.

That powerful advertisement just won a 2014 Webby Award, an international award honoring excellence on the Internet:

“...presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) — a 1,000+ member judging body that includes Executive Members comprised of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities, and Associate Members who are former Webby Award Winners and Nominees and other Internet professionals.”

The IADAS judging board also includes glass-closeted celeb Kevin Spacey, “closet heterosexual” musician David Bowie and pro-gay media empress Arianna Huffington.

If you haven’t seen the ad, watch it. One of the excellent point one of the newlywed spouses makes is, “In these debates we talk a lot about Equality. We talk a lot about Liberty, but not enough about Brotherhood.”

Watch the ad AFTER THE JUMP...

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French Uber Driver Fired For Refusing to Pick Up Gays

A driver for the car hire company Uber was fired in Paris over the weekend after he reportedly told two passengers they were not allowed in his car because they were gay.

The Local reports:

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 9.00.45 AMWhen the driver showed up, he asked the men [one of whom is pictured right] a few questions, and after determining they had come from a gay club he refused to give them a ride. The driver allegedly said ‘I don’t take gays’ and drove off, French daily Le Parisien reported.

Still needing to get home, the young men again requested a car from Uber. Incredibly, the same driver turned up again, prompting them to snap a picture of his license plate.

The driver didn’t like being photographed one bit and allegedly shouted at one of the men, “Come here, I’m going to break your phone." Fearing for their safety, the two men headed back toward the club.

Their move prompted the driver to shout: “Come on, get in gays, I’ll take you home” before he drove off. At that point the men took to Twitter to denounce the incident and inform Uber of what had happened. 

Uber replied Sunday morning by announcing the suspension of the driver, saying "this unacceptable behavior is absolutely not representative of the spirit of Uber." The driver was later fired.

[photo via Twitter]


French Bus Driver Douses Lesbian Couple With Water For Kissing

FranceA bus driver in northern France got fired after he doused two teenage girls with a bottle of water for kissing before one of the girls boarded. The girl rode to her destination and then confronted the driver who told her that he was "against homosexuality."

The girl then reported the driver to the local transport service, and — after he admitted what he had done — they laid off the driver and then fired him, adding via Twitter: "The act cannot be tolerated and that's why the driver involved was immediately laid off as a protective measure."

Several incidents of anti-gay violence have occurred in France since passing its marriage equality law last year.

Buses in particular seem to be a popular place for blue-collar bigots to express their anti-gay views. Last year in America, a Portland  driver told a gay couple to go to the back of the bus after he spotted them holding hands. And a Chicago bus driver ejected a gay couple from the bus after witnessing them kissing and holding hands.


French Firefighters Reprimanded for Shirtless 'Call Me Maybe' Video: WATCH

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A group of French firefighters is being reprimanded by their bosses for soiling the dignity of their professions after posting a shirtless lip-synch video to YouTube as a birthday present to a colleague, The Local reports:

The publicly posted video shows the bare-chested guys in their firefighting gear, but also working out and as well as in the shower,  while they lip synch to Carly Rae Jepsen's ubiquitous 2012 hit 'Call Me Maybe.'

The short clip, which carries the written message "Happy birthday Naninanounax!, This was made on the occasion of a birthday, and was an attempt to make fun of ourselves. It is not meant to be taken seriously."

"We don't necessarily want to put off a funny image of ourselves. It's not in our best interest," an unnamed source from management told France TV. "On top of it, they are at the fire station, using department equipment. It's not appropriate."

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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