• France's news in English
 

'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
France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
France's rugby union team captain Guilhem Guirado. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

France kicks off Six Nations amid tight security
2 hours ago

France and Italy kick-off the Six Nations on Saturday under a massive security operation as international sport returns to Paris's Stade de France for the first time since suicide bombers targeted the city on November 13.

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
Photo: Whitecatsg/Flickr

First French 'neutral gender' defends 'being genderless'
19 hours ago

The first French person to be given the designation "neutral gender" appeared in court on Friday to testify in an appeal of the decision.

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen. Photo: AFP

And the 'Liar of the year' award goes to Marine Le Pen
20 hours ago

National Front leader Marine Le Pen has been voted as the "biggest liar" of 2015. But why?

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
Photo: Kent Wang/ FLickr

Only in France - pig's entrails sold in vending machines
20 hours ago

As Paris gets its first automatic meat dispenser it seems "Only in France" could you buy bread, cheese, steak and pig's intestines from 24-hour street vending machines.

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
Children in the Jungle camp in Calais. Photo: AFP

Calais: UN slams 'appalling' conditions for migrant kids
22 hours ago

This time it's the United Nations that has blasted France for the conditions at Calais.

Americans in France
Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
Photo: AFP

Where do Americans choose to live (or avoid) in France?
22 hours ago

Can you guess which region in France only 55 Americans call home?

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
The Canal Saint Martin area of Paris that has been plagued by litter problems. Photo: AFP

How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - really
1 day ago

Yes, you read that right.

State of Emergency
Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
Photo: AFP

Emergency powers 'helped foil a terror attack': French PM
1 day ago

The French PM defended the ongoing state of emergency in France on Friday claiming that the sweeping powers helped them foil a terror attack.

Airbnb hands over €1.2 million in tourist tax to Paris coffers
Photo: AFP

Airbnb hands over €1.2 million in tourist tax to Paris coffers
1 day ago

Airbnb moves to appease critics by handing over €1.2 million in tourist taxes to Paris City Hall.

Unique French ski resort runs on old slag heap
Photo: AFP

Unique French ski resort runs on old slag heap
1 day ago

France's busy little ski resort of Noeux-les-Mines is also its most unusual. It has no mountains, no snow, runs all year round and is built on a decades-old slag heap.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
Culture
Chandeleur - The day the French get superstitious
Culture
Did fear of losing success drive top French chef to commit suicide?
See what changes in France from February 1st
Culture
'S**t! B**lox!'- Ramsay sees Versailles restaurant lose star
Lifestyle
Le Chandeleur: Why do the French eat crêpes on February 2nd?
Culture
Mad Max director to head Cannes Film Festival jury
National
'And what if your daughter married a Muslim?' - Survey shocks France
Features
Are these really 'the only streets in Paris' you need to go to?
Culture
Is the Michelin guide worth the paper it's written on?
Society
VIDEO: See the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris in 1926
Society
Is this the simple solution for Brits stressed out by driving in France?
3,534
jobs available