May 7, 2012
François Hollande President: What is going to change for LGBT people in France
François Hollande was elected new President of the French Republic last Sunday, the 6th of May 2012, with 51.67% of the votes, defeating Nicolas Sarkozy. Hollande is the second socialist elected President of the 5th Republic, 31 years after François Mitterrand. Nicknamed ‘François II’ right after his victory, Hollande is bringing new propositions and hopes for French LGBT people.
France has just put an end to 17 years of rightist government, fairly conservative and sometimes openly homophobic. Deputy Christian Vanneste, for example, was excluded from the UMP party – Sarkozy’s party – this year for repetitive homophobic declarations.
On the other hand, socialism has been working closely for homosexual rights over the last thirty years. In 1981, Mitterrand was the President who decriminalized homosexual relationships between same-sex adults above 15 years-old. A project of law was proposed in December 1981, only a few months after Mitterrand arrived at the Elysée. Hollande is now about to pursue Mitterrand’s work to give LGBT people the exact same rights as any French citizens.
François Hollande’s commitments to LGBT people
Gay marriage to be legalized this year
In Hollande’s ’60 propositions for France’ released during the presidential campaign, proposition #31 was clear and simple: “I will extend the right to marriage and adoption to homosexual couples”.
The organization Homosexualités et Socialisme (HES) launched thereafter a website named after proposition 31, MonEngagement31, to follow the actions of Hollande towards LGBT people. LGBT people can post testimonials stating how Hollande’s politics will change their life: ‘What it will change for me? I won’t be a sub-human in a country which motto is ‘Liberty, Equity, Fraternity’. I will have the same rights as my fellow-citizens: the freedom not to get married because the values of marriage are not the ones I want for myself. But I will have the freedom to choose at last’ says one of them.
Supporting gay parenthood from 2012
The questions of LGBT parenthood will be the next step. Hollande intends to give same-sex couples the right to adopt, as well as IVF possibilities and procreation assistance for female couples. Mr Hollande remains though opposed to surrogacy which he sees like ‘merchandizing of the human body’.
Fighting homophobia and discrimination in France and worldwide
From this year, blood donation will finally be authorized for homosexuals. Hollande is planning to set up educational campaigns from primary school. Discrimination at work, within the family sphere and at every level of society will be other focuses.
The new President will pursue AIDS prevention, which he still sees as a priority. At the international level, Mr Hollande wants to develop initiatives in order to fight all types of LGBT-phobia in developing countries and facilitate access to AIDS treatments worldwide. Hollande is also willing to provide political asylum to LGBT people prosecuted in their countries because of their sexual orientation.
Hollande and the Trans people
Finally, a President wants to take Transgender people into consideration. Hollande intends to launch a new policy of medical and psychological caring after discussing with Transgender organizations. He is also willing to create a law allowing Transgender people to legally change their identity whether they physically transitioned or not.
Read the Q&A between François Hollande and the representatives of the organization Homosexualités et Socialisme (HES) (.pdf). Unfortunately, only a French version is available.
Video of Hollande’s commitments to LGBT people (in French):
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