LGBT history in France

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This article is about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history in France.

prior to 1600[edit]

  • 10,000 years BC — Around the end of Paleolithic, humanity started to make artifacts which suggest an appreciation of homosexual eroticism. Some examples, like graffiti, can be seen in some cave and hundreds of buildings and phallic statues and also a carved double dildo, seen as evidence for female masturbation found at Gorge d'Enfere, France.[1]
  • 1100Ivo of Chartres tries to convince Pope Urban II about homosexuality risks. Ivo accused Rodolfo, archbishop of Tours, of convincing the King of France to appoint a certain Giovanni as bishop of Orléans. Giovanni was well known as Rodolfo's lover and had relations with the king himself, a fact of which the king openly boasted. Pope Urban, however, did not consider this as a decisive fact. Giovanni ruled as bishop for almost forty years, and Rodolfo continued to be well known and respected.[2]
  • 1260 – In France, first-offending sodomites lost their testicles, second offenders lost their member, and third offenders were burned. Women caught in same-sex acts could be mutilated and executed as well.[3]
  • 1283 – The Coutumes de Beauvaisis dictated that convicted sodomites were burned and had their property forfeited.


19th century[edit]

  • 1832 - an age of consent is introduced on 28 April, fixed to 11 years for both sexes.
  • 1863 - Age of consent is raised to 13 years.

20th century[edit]


  • 1942 - On 6 August, the Vichy government introduced a discriminative law in penal code: article 334 (moved to article 331 on 8 February 1945[6] by the Provisional Government of the French Republic) increased the age of consent to 21 for homosexual relations and 15 for heterosexual ones.
  • 1954 - Arcadie Club, the first homosexual group in France, is formed by André Baudry.
  • 1960 - Article 330, 2nd alinea, a clause that doubled the penalty for indecent exposure for homosexual activity, was inserted into the penal code.


  • 1971 - the first attempt at forming a gay male parade contingency took place during the traditional trade union march May Day, despite objections from the Central Confederation of Labour to what the organization described as a "tradition alien to the working class". The same year, the leftist-oriented Front homosexuel d'action révolutionnaire was organized, initiating a number of upstagings of various institutions in order to draw attention to the legal plight of homosexuals in French society and combat heterosexism.
  • 1974 - After being denied access to the Museum of Fine Arts (the traditional meeting place), the FHAR gradually ceased to exist. They were succeeded by a number of groups known as the Groupe de libération homosexuelle, which organized film viewings and journal publications.
  • 1979 - the Euro-Mediterranean Summer Universities for Homosexuals are established, leading to the establishment in the same year of CUARH.
  • 1981 - On April 4, CUARH organized the largest demonstration for the reform of the age of consent in Paris, resulting in a promise by president François Mitterrand to do so the following year.
  • 1982 - France equalizes the age of consent; CUARH leads the first pride parade in French history in Paris.
  • 1985 – France prohibits discrimination based on lifestyle (mœurs) in employment and services.


  • 1998 - André Labarrère becomes first member of Parliament to come out as gay.
  • 1999 - Pacte civil de solidarité legalizes a form of domestic partnership; the organizing committee for Gay Pride in Paris is dissolved due to high amounts of debt, and replaced with Inter-LGBT.

21st century[edit]

  • 2011 - Bill to legalize same-sex marriage in France is defeated in conservative (UMP) majority National Assembly.
  • 2013 - After long protests by anti-gay marriage groups, the law is voted by the National Assembly and Senate which currently has a Socialist (Francois Hollande) majority. The bill passed 331–225 in the National Assembly and 171–165 in the Senate. President Francois Hollande promulgated the bill, which was officially published on 18 May 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ansede, Manuel (2010). «Los gays paleolíticos salen de la caverna» in El Público
  2. ^ Opera Omnia. Archived March 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ (Fone, 2000)
  4. ^ "Where is it illegal to be gay?". BBC News. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  5. ^ * Gunther, Scott Eric (2009). The Elastic Closet, A History of Homosexuality in France, 1942-present. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-59510-1. 
  6. ^ Ordonnance 45–190