France Hub

Two Frenchmen Jailed for Brutal Assault on Gay Man


This photo of Wilfred de Bruijn's bloodied face made international headlines in 2013 after he was assaulted while walking arm-in-arm with his boyfriend in Paris.

The two men who attacked him were finally jailed, Dutch News reports:

Two Frenchmen were sentenced to 2.5 years in jail, with 12 and 18 months suspended, in Paris on Tuesday for beating up a gay Dutch man.

Wilfred de Bruijn, who lives in the French capital city, was walking home with his friend one evening in April last year when the two Frenchmen jumped him. During the attack, which made international headlines, De Bruijn was kicked in the face, suffering a broken tooth and cracks in his jaw and skull.

A man who witnessed the attack but did not help the Dutchman was given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

Anti-Gay French Protestors Take Over Student Led Protest Against Sexism - VIDEO


Protestors from France’s anti-gay group Manif Pour Tous hijacked a student-led protest against sexism in the western town of Nantes this week.

The protest originally sought to show male support for gender equality, but Manif Pour Tous — a group that used violent rhetoric in opposing French marriage equality — used the protest as a way to highlight their own opposition to a number of gender equality measures recently passed in France, suggesting that the real goal of gender equality class lessons is to covert Socialist plot to teach children to become gay and transgender:

The notion that gender is socially constructed is a bugbear of France's anti-gay marriage movement, which has called for "the withdrawal of the concept of gender theory from all school manuals, decrees and draft laws”…

Vincent Peillon, the education minister, said the suggestion that "we teach little boys how to become little girls" was a "totally false rumour", adding: "Don't worry, this is about education on equality between girls and boys, respect between girls and boys, that's all."

… The controversy (over gender equity lessons in schools) erupted as France's parliament approved a sweeping gender equality law, whose measures include extending paternity leave in France to six months, increasing fines for failure to reach parity in politics and business and banning "mini-Miss" beauty pageants for under 13-year-olds.

France’s new gender equality laws include penalties for those who try to prevent female access to aborition information, banning companies with male-dominated boardrooms from bidding on public contracts and fining political parties and other political organizations for failing to nominate or appoint equal numbers of female candidates.

The student protests still went off without much incident. Earlier in the school year, France’s far-right and anti-gay organizations encouraged thousands of parents to keep their kids home from school to protest the gender equality lessons.

Watch video of the protests AFTER THE JUMP...

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Homophobic Attacks In France Up 78 Percent In 2013


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


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...


Continue reading "Moving Google+ Marriage Equality Ad Wins International Webby Award - VIDEO" »

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]


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