France outlaws transgender bigotry

The French Senate has unanimously passed a legal amendment to outlaw transphobia

France outlaws transgender bigotry
13 July 2012

The French senate has unanimously voted to prohibit discrimination against transgender people.

During a session of the Senate to adopt of a bill against sexual harassment, discrimination against transgender people was added to the French penal code.

Before the vote Michelle Miller, Socialist Party Senator pleaded: ‘Transgender people have alerted us to high frequency of harassment and assaults they experience, particularly during the transition period that can last several years. It seems necessary to me to complete the law on discrimination and to add recognition of transphobia’.

Several other senators from both right and left of the political spectrum made similarly impassioned appeals.

The criteria ‘sexual identity’ was inserted into the legislation that prohibits discrimination yesterday (12 July). Sexual orientation is already covered.

Inter-LGBT, France’s largest LGBT rights group welcomed the vote as the step in the right direction, although stating that legislation is ‘imperfect’.

In an interview with the French daily Liberation, Nicolas Gougain, spokesperson of Inter-LGBT said: ‘This is a very important decision.

‘Until now, Article 225-1 of the penal code, which defines the contexts of discrimination, did not include discrimination based on gender identity – a term used in European legislation.

‘The Senate amended the code using the term “sexual identity”, a term which is less satisfactory, but it is a first step.’

In a press release the French Transgender National Association protested against the use of term ‘sexual identity’ which it claims will leave the determination of discrimination entirely to the judge’s discretion as the concept is not defined by law.

This was echoed in the discussion during the Senate’s session where Senator Annie David (Communist Party) stated: ‘The debate needs to be opened.

‘Gender identity is not sexual identity: one can be born into male or female without a corresponding gender identity.’

In 2010 France became the first country in the world to delist transsexualism from the category of mental illness.

A recent poll of young transgender people in France found that 34% said they have attempted suicide, while 19% have been disowned by their family.

According to the US National Transgender Discrimination Survey of 2011, 26% of transgender people lose their jobs following an announcement of their transition. And 52% reported incidents of discrimination with 19% finding themselves homeless as a result.



No thumbnail available

Meet the winner of Mr Gay Europe

A 20-year-old Swedish blond hunk won the hearts of the judges with his winning smile
No thumbnail available

Yes, you can love going to the gym

If your gym is all pain and no gain, you've gone wrong. Read GSN's simple tips to chosing the right gym and making it deliver visible benefits to your body
No thumbnail available

White House race 2012: Barack Obama from zero to hero

In the second part of our 2012 election preview feature, we look how President Obama has ‘evolved’ his reputation with LGBT voters
No thumbnail available

Washington launches first US trans rights campaign

Transgender spokeswoman hopes the District of Columbia campaign will 'change a lot of minds'
No thumbnail available

President Obama releases proclamation on World AIDS Day

In a proclamation for World AIDS Day, President Barack Obama notes his signature legislation requires HIV testing to be covered without out-of-pocket costs
No thumbnail available

Heather Small and Jake Shears to perform at Sydney Mardi Gras

M People singer and Scissor Sisters frontman to perform at Australia's world-famous Mardigrasland party
No thumbnail available

Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson causes uproar for equating homosexual sex with bestiality

GLAAD calls comments in GQ article 'vilest and most extreme statements' made against LGBTI people in a mainstream publication
No thumbnail available

Barclays to help sex workers find new employment

The banking giant is teaming up with the UK’s Terrence Higgins Trust and sponsoring a program to help sex workers – many of them gay and trans – to find new work
No thumbnail available

The 16 most inspiring things about bisexual artist Frida Kahlo

Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was born 107 years ago today, a feisty free spirit who blazed her own trail and inspired everyone around her
No thumbnail available

Chinese gay couples wish everyone a Merry Kissmas

More than a dozen pair of lovers kiss to bystanders’ applause