French cabinet approves bill outlawing homophobia
June 24, 2004
The French government on Wednesday approved a bill to outlaw
homophobia, conceived in the wake of a vicious attack on a gay man
who was badly burned earlier this year.
The bill, which will go before parliament next month, will make
"incitement to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person
on the basis of gender or sexual orientation" punishable by a year
in prison and a €45,000 ($54,000) fine.
It puts sexist and homophobic remarks on the same criminal level
as words encouraging racism or anti-Semitism.
At the weekly cabinet meeting, President Jacques Chirac said he
hoped the law would "bring to an abrupt end these very serious
acts," his spokesman said.
Justice Minister Dominique Perben said the proposed law owed
much to the story of Sebastian Nouchet, who was attacked at his
home in northern France in January and sprayed with petrol. "This
law is in some way the Nouchet law," he said.
The bill enters the process of ratification just after the
centre-right government took steps to punish a mayor – the Green
party politician Noel Mamere – who earlier this month performed
France's first ever gay marriage ceremony. – Sapa-AFP
French mayor suspended for conducting gay wedding [17/06/2004]