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Calling a homophobe a homophobe is ‘defamation’, France rules

Calling a homophobe a homophobe is ‘defamation’, France rules

These posters were declard 'insulting' by a Paris court

Calling someone a homophobe is an insult, a Parisian court has ruled.

Laure Pora, formerly president of the Paris branch of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP), was ordered by the Cour d’Appeal to pay €800 to anti-LGBTI group La Manif pour tous.

She also has to pay the judicial cost of €1,500.

In 2013, ACT UP staged a protest against the pro-life Jerome Lejeune Foundation, which provides ‘research, care, and advocacy for people with genetic intellectual disabilities’.

It was staged because the foundation supports La Manif Pour Tous and employed the organization’s founder, Ludovine La Rochère.

As part of the protest, activists threw condoms filled with fake blood against the wall and put up posters showing the logo of La Manif Pour Tous as well as pictures of La Rochère.

Some of the posters had the word homophobe brandished across them.

La Manif Pour Tous has staunchly opposed not just same-sex marriage, but also adoption rights for same-sex couples; they also renounce gender theory and fight against rights for trans people.

‘Describing La Manif pour tous as homophobic is a criminal offence,’ said the organization’s lawyer, Henri de Beauregard, according to Le Monde.

Karine Géronimi, representing ACT UP, called the court’s decision ‘particularly unfair’ and said she couldn’t see an insult.

In the first instance, the courts deemed Manif Pour Tous’ complaint ‘inappropriate for a procedural problem’, according to Le Monde.

The court’s decision comes two years after Jean-Pierre Michel, a former senator, was cleared of a similar charge.

He had been sued by La Manif pour tous after accusing them of ‘the worst kind of homophobia’ and being in denial about it.