• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Gay friendly' docs and lawyers listed in France

Sophie Inge · 24 Jul 2013, 12:36

Published: 24 Jul 2013 12:36 GMT+02:00

Gay marriage and adoption may now be legal in France, but the country still has a long way to go before it can wipe out gay discrimination as a whole, according to Stéphane Cola, the founder of AvocatsGayFriendly.fr, a site that lists gay-friendly legal services.

Cola says such services are in great demand, pointing out that around 10,000 fruitless Google searches are made every month for “gay-friendly lawyers” in France.

While a recent study carried out by the Association for Assistance and the French Federation of LGBT Centres shows that the majority of gay people are treated well by health workers, 30 percent of women and 27 percent of men said they were afraid of admitting they were homosexual or bisexual.

“When we know we can find a gay-friendly lawyer we are more encouraged to assert our rights,” Cola told French daily Le Figaro on Wednesday.

After all, adds Cola, “the first thing a lawyer or a doctor will ask is ‘Tell me everything!’ But if you’re inhibited, you may get a bad diagnosis!”

Already, Cola’s site has around 100 lawyers listed and offers users the chance to find a lawyer in their selected region. It was initially set up to catch the "first wave" of gay divorces following the change in the law in May.

“Around 70 percent [of  the lawyers] are heterosexual," said Cola, “but are open-minded enough and have experience [working] with homosexuals.”

France is split in two

He denied, however, that the website was an attempt to isolate the gay community.

“It’s not about closing off the community. All minorities protect themselves by creating tools of solidarity.”

And the possibilities don’t stop there, says Cola. “Gay doctors” and “gay-friendly doctors” are even more popular search terms, with around 14,000 searches a month, he claims.

By September Cola also expects to have drawn up a list of so-called “gay-friendly doctors”, too.

But, judging from his website, some regions don’t appear to be as “gay friendly” as others.

“France is cut in two vertically, the mid-west having much less than in the east of the country,” said Cola. “At the moment, for example, we don’t have anyone in Brittany. But I hope that from now until the end of the year we will manage to fill the country.”

Story continues below…

Florent Berdeaux-Gacogne, a specialist in family law who is listed on the website told the paper that he had already seen an increase in cases involving same-sex parents since the law legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption was enforced on May 18th.

In particular, he anticipates that same-sex divorce may soon pose new problems, particularly when children are involved. “Until now, the judge ruled in favour of the child going into the care of its mother. But when there are two fathers or mothers, it must be examined according to new criteria.”

The website is not the only business in France to take advantage of the legalization of gay marriage.

In April, just four days after deputies in France's lower house, the National Assembly voted to legalize gay marriage, a high-end salon dedicated to gay men called 'The G-Day' opened in Paris's wealthy 1st Arrondissement. 

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
Protesters demonstrate in front of the French parliament on Tuesday. All photos: AFP

France's controversial labour reforms are finally before parliament but here's why everyone seems to be up in arms.

Where are the most polluted cities in France?
Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

A new study reveals where the most at-risk areas are in the country.

The French eating habits the world should learn from
The French eat together, that's one thing we could learn from. Photo: AFP

Living in France will change the way you eat and there are good reasons for it.

French bus drivers 'told to count migrants'
Twisto buses. Photo: AFP

A bus company in northern France has brought in "migrant tallies", and the drivers aren't impressed.

Unresponsive Air France jet escorted down in UK
Photo: Jonathon Gross/Flickr

British military jets acted fast to escort down an Air France passenger plane from Paris.

Euro 2016
All you need to know about the mega Paris fan zone
Photo: Lagardère Sports 2016/PACIFA

They say it will be the biggest fanzone ever at a football tournament and it will be right in the heart of Paris.

No booze, no noise: Paris cracks down on Nuit Debout
Photo: AFP

Will the Nuit Debout movement survive a ban on booze and noise?

US stubbornness will end EU free trade deal warns France
Photo: AFP

Washington needs to compromise or the deal could be off, says France.

Corsican separatists 'to end 40-year military operations'
Photo: AFP

Corsica's main militant group has said it will end "military operations".

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Proust's personal archives to go under the hammer in Paris
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
Who exactly are the masked rioters causing havoc across France?
French rail passengers must now pay to change their tickets
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Travel
Here are nine must-see landmarks in Paris you may have missed
Society
Paris makes love-lock bridge even more love-lock proof
Lifestyle
Parisians paying dearly for their bad 'parking'
Society
What's on in France: Ten great things to do in May
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Society
Protesters clash with police over France's new labour laws
National
French dangerously 'unprepared' for future natural disasters
Is it really safe to come to France for Euro 2016?
National
Salah Abdeslam: Pot-smoking 'little moron' is finally back in Paris
Rail strike: Passengers in France face major disruption
Cats in a cafe?!? Nine of the quirkiest things you can see in Paris
National
VIDEO: The moment a Paris suicide bomber blew himself up
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and why there will be more
National
Winter is coming (back). Why is France so cold right now?
National
WWI's Anzac Day heroes honoured in northern France service
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Did you know all these stars spoke great French?
Culture
How did the French end up with their 'crazy' numbers?
Politics
Why this man could become the next president of France
Society
VIDEO: Jewellers in southern France raided by... swarm of bees
Culture
Did you know the strange origins of these six French curse words?
Why are more and more people dying on French roads?
2,773
jobs available