'Kiss-in' denounces reported homophobic attack in Montreal
Couple physically, verbally abused for publicly embracing on April 30
A "kiss-in" protest was held in Montreal's Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district after organizers say a same-sex couple was insulted and beaten for publicly embracing at an east-end bar.
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The reported incident happened on Saturday, April 30 at Chez Francoise, a bar on Sainte-Catherine Street East, three blocks west of Pie-IX Boulevard.
Simon and his partner were repeatedly verbally and physically abused by a group of five or six people.
"I was outraged," Simon told Radio-Canada. "I was asking myself what happened."
Simon, who was the victim of a homophobic attack with his partner Sébastien, speaks to kiss-in crowd. <a href="https://t.co/HVVEYIziA9">pic.twitter.com/HVVEYIziA9</a>—@CBCRaffy
Simon says the demonstration, organized by Gai Écoute and the Conseil québécois LGBT, was held to denounce all forms of homophobia.
"It's not just for us, it's against homophobia," Simon said.
"It's also for all of those who are ostracized because they are born the way they are."
'It's not true that there's no homophobia anymore'
"We're shocked and at the same time, even though our society is very open to homosexuality, it's not true that there's no homophobia anymore," Maryse Bézaire, spokesperson for Gai Écoute, told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.
Gai Écoute has a registry to track homophobic acts and, over the course of the past 18 months, Bézaire said close to 1,000 incidents were reported.
She said 43 per cent of those were criminal in nature.
"We don't necessarily hear about them because people don't feel comfortable denouncing or talking about it," she said.
In this case, the incident was reported to Montreal police.
- An earlier version of this story stated the attack occurred in Montreal's gay village. In fact, it occurred in a bar about four kilometres north of the village, in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.May 10, 2016 11:48 AM ET
with files from Raffy Boudjikanian and la Presse Canadienne