Target: Myriam el Khomri, Labor Minister
Goal: Overturn a tribunal ruling that the word “faggot” does not constitute a homophobic slur.
A tribunal in Paris has ruled that a case in which an employer referred to his employee as a “faggot” (“PD” in French) does not constitute an instance of homophobia “because hair salons regularly employ gay people.” Sign the petition and demand that this ridiculous and ignorant ruling be overturned.
An unnamed employee at a Paris salon was fired after he failed to show up for work due to illness. In a text accidentally sent to him by his employer, however, he found out that his boss had referred to him by a gay slur, saying, “I am not going to keep [him] … I don’t have a good feeling about this guy. He’s a faggot.”
The BBC reports that the tribunal agreed that the word was “insulting” and awarded the man €5,000 in damages, but it refused to rule that the word was homophobic, noting rather nonsensically that “the term ‘faggot’ used by a manager cannot be considered as a homophobic insult, because hair salons regularly employ gay people … and that poses no problem at all.” The employee is appealing the ruling.
There are plenty of “insulting” terms that are non-homophobic, but “faggot,” a word that has been long associated with derisive feelings toward gay people, is not one of them. Sign the petition and urge the tribunal to overturn its ruling.
Dear Minister Myriam el Khomri,
I am writing to condemn a Paris tribunal’s recent ruling that the term “PD” does not constitute a homophobic slur. I know you have already expressed shock at the ruling, and I urge you to continue to exert your influence as Minister of Labor to support the complainant as he appeals this ruling.
The idea that one’s profession somehow negates homophobia is preposterous and insulting. “PD” is inherently linked to homosexuality; there are plenty of “insulting” words that are not. To rule that an employer calling his employee “PD” is not homophobic is either incredibly naive or willfully ignorant. Furthermore, the remainder of the context (“Je ne garde pas [l’employé], je le préviens demain, on fera avec des itinérants en attendant, je ne le sens pas ce mec : c’est un PD”) makes it clear that the slur was pointedly and consciously used.
The ruling is a blatant miscarriage of justice, and I urge you to use your position to continue drawing attention to its absurdity throughout the appeals process.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Fry1989