Yesterday, in his address to the United Nations, French President François Hollande — whose government is expected to pass a marriage equality law by next year — called for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.

Hollande said in his speech that France is committed to honorably leading the fight for fundamental, universal freedoms. Gay Star News reports:

“This is the reason for which France will continue to conduct all these struggles: for the abolition of the death penalty, for women’s rights to equality and dignity, for the universal decriminalization of homosexuality, which should not be recognised as a crime but, on the contrary, recognised as a [sexual] orientation.

‘All members countries have the obligation to guarantee the security of their citizens, and if one nation adheres to this obligation, it is then imperative that we, the United Nations, facilitate the necessary means to make that guarantee.

‘These are the issues that France will lead and defend in the United Nations. I say this with seriousness. When there is paralysis, inertion and inaction, then injustice and intolerance can find their place.

‘What I want this assembly to understand, is that we need to react, to take our responsibility … always react for sake of the people, together, this is the message of France.”

Hollande’s speech yesterday, together with his strong support of equal marriage and adoption rights, have prompted speculation that France intends to lead a worldwide struggle to decriminalize homosexuality, which Gay Star News says may be in response to a recent hunger strike undertaken by French human rights advocate Louis-Georges Tin, in which he sought to raise awareness of the plight of LGBT people around the world.


French speakers may enjoy watching an excerpt of Hollande’s speech below.