The decriminalization of homosexuality, Robert Badinter's other victory

Robert Badinter was not only the father of the abolition of the death penalty in France.

The decriminalization of homosexuality, Robert Badinter's other victory

Robert Badinter was not only the father of the abolition of the death penalty in France. The former Minister of Justice has led other major battles. Among them, the decriminalization of homosexuality.

We owe him the abolition of the death penalty. But Robert Badinter, who died on the night of February 8 to 9, 2024, also distinguished himself during his time at the Ministry of Justice, between June 1981 and February 1986, in other fights. Among them, the decriminalization of homosexuality. In December 1981, facing the deputies in the National Assembly, who were examining his bill at first reading, Robert Badinter then castigated the "hunt for homosexuality", judging that "this discrimination and this repression [were] incompatible with the principles, those of a great country of freedom". And Robert Badinter also underlined on the occasion of this remarkable speech: "If Oscar Wilde was condemned by English justice for having seduced Lord Douglas, we know that Verlaine could not be prosecuted by French justice for having seduced Rimbaud, aged of 17 years, unless, moreover, the seduction was in the opposite direction."

A few months later, on July 27, 1982, François Mitterrand's campaign promise was kept. The bill brought by Robert Badinter and Gisèle Halimi, then rapporteur of the law committee, was passed, thus repealing paragraph 2 of article 331 of the Penal Code. A paragraph put in place under the Vichy regime and subsequently maintained which, concretely, set the sexual majority for homosexual relations at 21 years old, then, from 1974, at 18 years old, while at the same time, that -this was defined at 13 years old then 15 years old for heterosexual relationships.

A small revolution which subsequently allowed the adoption of other texts in favor of homosexual rights, until the recent marriage for all, in particular. And while the question of reparation for the State's prejudice towards people convicted of homosexuality between 1942 and 1982 will be debated next March, Robert Badinter will have continued his fight for homosexual rights throughout his life , as SOS homophobia notably recognized this Friday. “We salute his resolute and constant action in favor of the recognition, equality and dignity of LGBTI people,” the association said on X.

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