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HOMOPHOBIA

Crowd attack on French transgender woman leads to 10-month sentence

A young man who was filmed assaulting a transgender woman was sentenced Wednesday to 10 months in prison, four of them on parole, by a Paris court.

Crowd attack on French transgender woman leads to 10-month sentence
Seddik A., 23, was found guilty of assault because of the victim's gender by the Paris Criminal Court and was ordered to abstain from contacting the victim, Julia Boyer, or appearing near her residence.
   
He was also ordered to pay her 3,500 euros ($3,900), and 1,500 euros to each of three LGBT defence associations that had supported her.
   
“Justice has been served,” commented Boyer, 31, before adding: “I am not sure prison is the best solution but I hope he will think about this and not do it again.”
   
On March 31, Boyer, who had begun transitioning to female eight months earlier, was singled out by a group of men near a Paris metro station in the midst of a demonstration against former Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
 
Julia Boyer. Photo: AFP
   
She was verbally abused and had beer thrown at her before video surveillance cameras shows Seddik A. touch her hair and punch her several times in the face.
 
Boyer escaped into the metro station with the help of several workers for the underground network.
   
“This trial is symbolic, because the French justice system took into account the discriminatory aspect of transphobic acts,” her lawyer Etienne Deshoulieres remarked.
 
   
Seddik A. did not deny attacking the victim, but said he did not utter insults against transgender people and was not “homophobic”.
   
His lawyer Mariame Toure called the sentence “severe” and said it was a reaction to “media frenzy about the case”. 

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FOOTBALL

‘Not football’s job’ to combat homophobia: French football chief

The head of French football has pulled away from a hardline stance against homophobic chanting and banners in stadiums on Friday, saying that "too many matches" have been stopped due to anti-gay abuse.

'Not football's job' to combat homophobia: French football chief
Photo: FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), said that the FFF would not instruct referees to stop matches except in cases when a “whole stadium” was guilty of homophobic chanting.

“I think we're stopping too many matches! That makes certain government ministers happy, but it bothers me. Football can't be taken hostage by vulgarity,” said Le Graet in an interview with newspaper Ouest-France.

Several matches have been temporarily halted in France this season after the French football League (LFP) introduced over the summer plans to tackle fan homophobia during matches, including allowing referees to stop games.

“Matches have been stopped when they shouldn't have been,” Le Graet continued.

“We will stop them if there is consistent homophobic abuse from the whole ground, but if among 30,000 people there are 2,000 imbeciles I don't see why the other 28,000 should be punished.”

Le Graet referred to France's sports minister Roxana Maracineanu, who in April launched the appeal for matches to be stopped in the event of homophobic abuse, and equalities minister Marlene Schiappa.

Schiappa publicly praised referee Clement Turpin after he stopped Marseille's 2-1 win at Nice for over 10 minutes last month following sustained abusive chanting and banners from home fans, but Le Graet insisted that it wasn't football's job to combat homophobia.

Paris Saint-Germain's match at Metz two days later was also briefly halted for a banner unfurled by the hosts' supporters asking the French league (LFP) to allow them to aim homophobic chants at PSG.

“Did football invent homophobia? You can be a know-it-all when you have got much to say. But there are more important political issues,” he said.

“This crisis will resolve itself. We will work with club presidents, people who don't stick their oar in every morning, who don't want to just look good in front of the television cameras.”

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