Monday, March 11, 2024

France approves bill to rehabilitate people convicted of homosexuality

France's Assemblée Nationale unanimously voted for a bill intended to recognize and compensate homosexual people for the damage caused by discriminatory laws in force between 1942 and 1982.

The anti-gay law was originally introduced by the Vichy government during World War Two, when France was occupied by Nazi Germany. The new bill proposes to reimburse people who were fined for homosexual crimes, and it will also compensate anyone imprisoned for being gay.

The Assemblée reintroduced the principle of financial compensation for people convicted of homosexuality, and the creation of a commission to rule on requests for financial compensation.

Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti asked for forgiveness for those discriminated against: "It is high time to say this evening in the name of the French Republic: sorry, sorry to the people, the homosexuals of France who suffered 40 years of this completely iniquitous repression. Our Republic is never more beautiful than when it recognizes that it has lost the thread of its founding principles: liberty, equality and fraternity," he declared.

An estimated 10,000 people, mostly gay men, were convicted between 1942 and 1982. Many of those convicted are now dead or very old, meaning few are likely to come forward for any reparations. It is estimated that 200 to 400 people could be eligible for compensation.

Recently, President Emmanuel Macron named Gabriel Attal France’s new prime minister, making history in the process because he is the youngest and the first openly gay man to serve in the role.

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