The head of a French LGBTI organization has been assaulted in an alleged homophobic attack. It is the third homophobic attack in Paris in less than a month.
Guillaume Mélanie, president of Urgence Homophobie shared photos of his bloodied face after the attack which happened on Tuesday night (17 October).
‘Tonight is my turn. Homophobic assault on the way out of a restaurant,’ he wrote on Facebook.
‘Broken nose. Shocked. Blood everywhere.
‘I’m a homosexual, and we’re in 2018.’
Urgence Homophobie works with LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers forced to flee their home countries because of their sexual and/or gender identity.
The attack happened in the ‘very gay friendly’ neighbourhood near the Etienne Marcel metro station. The station is a stone’s throw from Paris’ main tourist attractions including, the Louvre museum.
Mélanie had dined at the restaurant with friend to celebrate the successful housing of a refugee. Upon leaving the restaurant Mélanie said a man trying to walk past them on the street got agitated when he realised their sexuality.
‘There was hatred in his eyes,’ Mélanie told BFMTV.
‘He pushed one of our refugees to get passed, he was told off’gently’ and that’s where he started shouting homophobic slurs.’
The man allegedly punched Mélanie in the nose causing it to break. Mélanie also suffered bruising and went to the emergency room that night.
Third attack in a month
Mélanie called on lawmakers to act on the recent spate of homophobic attacks in Paris. The attack on Mélanie is the third in a month.
Just last week police confirmed an assault on a gay couple was motivated by homophobia. Only a few weeks before that a group of young people assaulted comedian, Arnaud Gagnoud, after he hugged a male friend outside a theatre.
These two assaults happened within metres of each other in Paris’ 20th arrondissement (neighbourhood/borough).
‘We really need justice, we need the Minister of Justice, we have to investigate our complaints, and as long as there is this feeling of impunity, we will get smashed,’ Mélanie said.
Leaders have condemned the attack, including the former Mayor Bruno Julliard.
‘The proliferation of homophobic attacks, public insults… incessant bullying on social networks: Homophobia is doing very well in 2018,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘It is no longer bearable, it requires a general mobilization: police, justice, school, associative actors, quickly.’
Multiplication des agressions homophobes, injures publiques, outings sauvages, insultes incessantes sur les réseaux sociaux: l’homophobie se porte à merveille en 2018. Ce n’est plus supportable. Il faut une mobilisation générale: police, justice, école, acteurs associatifs. Vite.
— Bruno Julliard (@BrunoJulliard) October 17, 2018