French Senate Passes Bill Acknowledging Past Discrimination Against Homosexuals

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French Senate Passes Bill Acknowledging Past Discrimination Against Homosexuals


French Senate Passes Bill Acknowledging Past Discrimination Against Homosexuals

In a significant legislative move, the French Senate has unanimously passed a bill recognizing the Republic’s role in the historical “suffering” and “trauma” of homosexuals. This acknowledgment addresses the repercussions of discriminatory laws in place until 1982. Despite the passage of this bill, right-wing factions have successfully blocked the proposition for financial compensation to the victims.

Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti, speaking at the Senate, highlighted the dishonor these past policies bring to the Republic. The bill, introduced by socialist senator Hussein Bourgi of Hérault, garnered unanimous support with a 343-vote consensus on November 22. It now awaits approval from the National Assembly to be enacted into law. Hussein Bourgi, reflecting on the importance of the bill, emphasized that certain laws are beyond controversy or debate. The bill’s sole clause clearly states the Republic’s acknowledgment of its responsibility in enforcing discriminatory sexual orientation laws from February 8, 1945, and recognizes the resultant suffering and trauma.

Opposition from Conservative Factions

The conservative wing in the Senate significantly weakened the impact of the bill by refusing to include any monetary compensation. Initially, the bill proposed a grant of 10,000 euros and an additional 150 euros for each day of lost freedom. Francis Szpiner (LR), the bill’s rapporteur, justified this omission by citing the 1982 amnesty law and the expiration of civil statutes of limitations. He attributed broader social repercussions, like job loss or social stigma, to society at large rather than legislative action. Additionally, the right-wing senators rejected a proposal to criminalize the denial of homosexual deportations. Socialist senator Patrick Kanner expressed hope for further development of the bill in the National Assembly.

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Socio-historian Régis Schlagdenhauffen, in his research, has recorded 10,000 convictions in the General Court of Justice due to these discriminatory laws. However, he believes this figure significantly underrepresents the true extent of the issue, pointing to incomplete statistics and the varied application of these laws. His findings also reveal that the Treasury collected around 6 million euros from fines associated with these convictions.

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French Senate Passes Bill Acknowledging Past Discrimination Against Homosexuals #politics #lgbt #info

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