France adds “sexual identity” to the protected grounds of discrimination

06/08/2012

On the 31 July 2012, the French National Assembly adopted an amendment that adds “sexual identity” to the protected grounds of discrimination in French law.

The amendment introduces “sexual identity” in a number of texts, including Article L.225-1 of the Criminal Code, which lists the types of discrimination punished by criminal law sanctions; and Article L.132-77, which defines aggravating circumstances in the case of offences.

This change of the law happened with the support of the government, and after an agreement between the main political groups. It will allow trans people to go to court in case of discrimination, and to report transphobic aggressions and acts of harassment.

ILGA-Europe’s members in France, although they believe that the term “gender identity” would have been more appropriate, consider that these amendments are an important step. They had the opportunity to meet with two government ministers (Ms Christiane Taubira, Justice Minister, and Ms Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Spokesperson of the government and Minister for women’s rights).

The government committed to the organisation of a broader debate on gender identity and confirmed its intention to work on legislation relating to the change of legal gender identity, access to health care and other fundamental rights issues.

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