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Towns doing little on homophobia

Study shows Amiens and Paris in lead, but majority do next to nothing to protect homosexuals

AMIENS and Paris have come top in a ranking of major towns for their efforts to combat homophobia – with Boulogne-Billancourt and Courbevoie the least successful.

Fifty towns were covered in the study which had 40 questions answered by the towns themselves, local groups and residents. The questions covered the actions taken by the towns themselves and official attitudes and support for homosexual groups as well as protection offered.

Each town was marked out of 100 points and the results highlighted the lack of engagement of many towns on matters that affect homosexuals. The average mark for the 50 towns was 16 out of 100 but half the towns were rated at under 7/100.

The study by research group République & Diversité showed some Left-Right difference with Left-wing councils more supportive of homosexual rights, but several towns – such as Nancy with its UMP mayor and Socialist Dunkirk – were exceptions.

Amiens and Paris were equal at the top of the rankings on 70/100, followed by Nancy on 57 and Toulouse on 52.5, but these were the only towns to get above 50/100.

Eight towns received a negative ranking – Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Orléans, Mulhouse, Toulon, Nîmes, Boulogne-Billancourt and Courbevoie. The study said they were doing or next to nothing to battle homophobia.

• Around 5,000 protestors gathered outside the Hôtel de Ville in Paris last night to protest against homophobic attacks after a couple were beaten up last weekend. Another demo is planned in Nice on Friday evening at Place du Pin after Right-wing groups called for attacks on Gay Pride parades.

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