Homosexuals convicted from 1942 to 1982: Senator Hussein Bourgi takes another step towards state repair

Homosexuals convicted from 1942 to 1982: Senator Hussein Bourgi takes another step towards state repair

Hussein Bourgi, sénateur de l'Hérault, espère aller au bout du processus législatif rapidement. Midi Libre – Michael Esdourrubailh

The National Assembly took up, this Wednesday evening, the bill proposed by Hérault senator Hussein Bourgi.

Three days after the inclusion of abortion in the Constitution, the National Assembly seized on this Wednesday March 6 evening another symbol strong: the recognition of the responsibility of the State in the condemnation of homosexuals in France, between 1942 and 1982. Forty years during which "between 50,000 and 60,000 people were worried solely for their sexual orientation", estimates the socialist senator of Hérault Hussein Bourgi.

A race against time

It was he who brought the bill to the Senate. On November 22, it was approved by its peers but it was watered down in the process. The right-wing majority refused to take responsibility for France under the Vichy regime which had penalized homosexuality in 1942 and therefore only retained the period 1945-1982, as it rejected the idea of ​​any financial reparation. Hussein Bourgi therefore proposed to the deputies to return to his initial text. "I did not want a cheap law, which would certainly have enhanced the image of France, perhaps even that of elected officials, but eclipsed those who were condemned. We could also have been content with this first step and later tabled a second bill requesting compensation, but today we are in a race against time", pleads Mr. Bourgi.

A legal continuum since the Vichy regime

The last convicts, at the end of the 70s before Robert Badinter decriminalized homosexuality in 1982, are now over 70 years old. Many of those sanctioned by the courts in previous years have unfortunately died. So you have to go "quickly" and the Hérault senator found the arguments to convince his counterparts at the Palais Bourbon of all persuasions, from the left to Renaissance. "The senatorial majority believes that we We do not have to apologize for the errors of Vichy, but this Pétain law was not repealed at the Liberation like the other exceptional laws. On the contrary, the Minister of Justice François de Menthon justified its maintenance in an order, which created a legal and political continuum, reinforced in 1960 by the amendment – adopted – of a deputy who qualified homosexuality is a social scourge. And then, during his founding speech in 1995 at the Vel d’Hiv, President Chirac himself resolved the question of recognizing the responsibility of the French State for the actions of Vichy".

A flat-rate repair of 10,000 €

De facto, a basic legal principle, Hussein Bourgi believes that any recognized damage must be repaired, "path taken, long before us, by many countries such as Germany, Spain, or Austria. Offers him the sum of 10,000 € flat rate repair to which could be added 150 € per day of deprivation of liberty. A multi-party commission, made up of magistrates and qualified personalities, would be responsible for examining each case if the law is definitively adopted.

Denunciations, arrests…

Receiving many very strong testimonies since November, from people formerly convicted, arrested, sometimes removed from their profession, after being denounced, Hussein Bourgi is even more determined to go to the end. The consensus of the National Assembly will quickly bring the text back to the Senate where this time he hopes to convince his colleagues, since made aware of its media coverage by the scale of this "page dark history of our". Whatever the vote in the Senate, it is in any case the National Assembly which will have the last word in principle of the parliamentary shuttle. One last vote for history.

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