French gay-rights organization SOS Homophobie, which monitors homophobic acts in the country, reports a staggering jump of 78 percent in incidents in 2013.
The unsettling surge coincides with France legalizing gay marriage, which polarized opinions during legislative deliberation and led to massive antigay demonstrations.
“There’s no doubt the rise in homophobic acts was linked to the context of the opposition against gay marriage,” said Gregory Premon from SOS Homophobie. “Homophobic words and statements became trivialised during this period and helped legitimize insults and homophobic violence.”
The group received 1,977 complaints of homophobia at its help hotline in 2012 compared to 3,500 in 2013.
Since there are no corresponding studies released by the interior or justice ministries, these figures are the best measure of the undeniable trend in violent speech and actions.
“In recent months homophobic speech has become totally uninhibited in all spheres of society,” SOS Homophobie said in a recent statement.
There have been some high profile attacks, like the brutal beating of Wilfred de Bruijn (pictured) and his boyfriend Olivier in Paris in April 2012, which gay rights watch groups link directly to the impassioned campaign against gay marriage.
And while these same groups still celebrate marriage equality as a victory, the high price with which it hase come is worrisome.
Educating young people remains a high priority for SOS Homophobie, especially since homophobic acts in schools also rose by 25 percent.
Via The Local