French Senate adopts ‘transphobia’ legislation

The French parliament has voted to make the harassment and discrimination of transgender people a criminal offence, as part of a bill addressing sexual harassment.

The move was welcomed by leaders of LGBT groups on Wednesday.

"After the Senate vote, the National Assembly recognizes transphobia," said Nicolas Gougain, a spokesperson for Inter-LGBT, an umbrella group of organisations lobbying for change in the issue, said according to the Le Figaro daily.

The law in effect means that those who define themselves as transgender will be able to claim transphobia if they are subjected to harassment and thus be able to claim legal recourse, including damages.

The issue of gender in difference to sexual identity remains a point of contention however. law recognize their status as a gender and a renewed parliamentary debate on the issue has been promised.

Inter-LGBT would like to see this debate lead to the clarification of marital status with regards to the procedure of a sex change.

"Currently, this process is always on condition of a medical procedure, a sex change and a sterilisation, Some courts require medical reports, some don't – it is an arbitrary rule," Gougain said.

Former justice minister Michèle Alliot-Marie has previously declared that sterilization should no longer be a prerequisite for change gender with a view to marital status. The final decision however rests with the discretion of the courts, according to Le Figaro.

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