The pledges form part of a 42-point plan to improve the lives of France’s LGBTQ+ community.
France has brought forward a 42-point plan to fight discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community within the country.
Some of the pledges in the plan include a ban on ‘conversion therapy’, improving LGBTQ+ education and making it easier for same-sex couples to adopt.
Elisabeth Moreno, France’s Minister for Gender Equality and Diversity said the plan aims to improve the lives of LGBTQ+ people by 2023.
Addressing ‘conversion therapy’, a discredited practice which refers to any attempt at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, Moreno called them “abject and medieval practices” and that France wanted to ban them “outright.”
Speaking on education, Moreno said “discrimination and inequality are rooted in childhood” and believed that by addressing these issues early on they could confront anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes.
Pledging to work with the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, she added: “The school must therefore be the first place of awareness and prevention to participate in deconstructing stubborn stereotypes.”
One of the pledges also involved the setting up of a website, Educating against LGBTphobia, with Moreno saying the aim of it was to “give teachers the weapons to fight homophobia and transphobia, and allow the proper inclusion of LGBT students.”
The 42-point plan comes as France is dealing with a rise in hate crime against the LGBTQ+ community.
In one incident last month, a 27-year-old dancer, Mohamed, was beaten up by a homophobic Uber driver after standing up for himself.
Recounting the attack, Mohamed explained that he and a friend were returning from a party, and discussing a boy that he had been flirting with.
However, this conversation infuriated the driver, who “began to throw homophobic insults, that he did not want a ‘queer’ in his car.” When Mohamed stood up for himself and asserted his pride in his LGBTQ+ identity, the driver threw two punches at him, knocking him onto a car that had stopped to help.
Mohamed was taken to hospital where he received five stitches to the face, was informed that he had suffered head trauma and was prescribed ten days off of work.
He spoke of his nervousness when left alone, saying: “I am very shocked. After my complaint I was walking down the street and while I was not on the crosswalk, a person on a scooter called me a queer, I felt really bad.”
In a statement, Uber France has said it’s “profoundly” regretful about the attack, and that is cooperating with law enforcement in order to find the driver responsible. “When there’s a complaint and a criminal investigation, we systematically suspend the driver,” they said.