April 23, 2017 at 10:23 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Macron, Le Pen advance in French presidential election

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, gay news, Washington Blade

Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Party will face off against Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on May 7,
2017. (Photo by Waithamai; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen on Sunday advanced to the second round of the French presidential election.

France 24 reported Macron, who is a centrist, received 23.9 percent of the vote. Le Pen of the far-right National Front party who campaigned on an anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-European Union and populist platform came in second with 21.7 percent of the vote.

“You have brought me to the second round of the presidential elections,” Le Pen told supporters in Henin-Beaumont in northern France. “From now on, I have an immense responsibility: That of defending the French nation, it’s unity, it’s security, it’s culture, it’s prosperity and independence.”

The election took place three days after a gunman killed a gay police officer and wounded two others on Paris’ Champs-Élysées.

President Trump told the Associated Press the attack — for which the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility — would “probably help” Le Pen in the election. Geert Wilders, the leader of the far-right Dutch Party for Freedom in the Netherlands who failed to unseat Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte last month, on Sunday applauded Le Pen.

“Congratulations sent to Marine Le Pen,” wrote Wilders in a tweet that included a picture of him taking a selfie with Le Pen. “A day of celebration for all patriots in Europe.”

Le Pen during the campaign said she would repeal France’s same-sex marriage law that took effect in 2013. Her father, who founded the National Front in 1972, once described homosexuality as “a biological and social anomaly.”

The BBC last week interviewed gay men in Paris’ Le Marais neighborhood who said they planned to vote for Le Pen in spite of her public opposition to marriage rights for same-sex couples.

“There are priorities in France other than homosexuality,” Cedric told the BBC. “For me there are more pressing issues like the economy, the national debt and unemployment.”

Fabrice Houdart, a former World Bank employee from France, told the Washington Blade on Sunday that Le Pen is “horrible,” even though she “at least had gays around her.” He described Macron as “LGBT friendly.”

Conservative François Fillon and Benoît Hamon of the French Socialist Party both urged voters to support Macron after they conceded on Sunday. Outgoing President François Hollande, who signed the same-sex marriage law, announced late last year he would not run for re-election amid an approval rating that was less than 10 percent.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

3 Comments
  • Macron is gay. This is fake news.

  • Le Pen wants to reverse marriage equality and some conservatives queers still want to vote for her. Obnoxious! If the hard won rights you’ve achieved aren’t worth preserving then what sense does it make to identify yourself as gay?

    Evidently for them, until the right-wing criminalizes them again they won’t get it! You need to be denied the employment and economic opportunity you profess to be more important as gay men! How quickly they take for granted what so many before them fought so hard to obtain. Or maybe living in the shadows is just fine for them. Perhaps if France became like Russia you’d appreciate what you take for granted? Shame!

    What’s her plan for economic growth and low unemployment? Kick out immigrants? So the French conservative gays want the dead-end low wage jobs they fill? Stopping immigrants won’t stop the threat from Muslims. There is a huge population that was born there. What will she do? Drag them out of the country?

  • Maybe These French gays supporting the ultra-right party should look at Pre-WW2 Germany and take a lesson from those gay people who supported the rise of fascism.

    Ernest Rohm was also a prominent member of the party until he was purged at the cost of his life along with all the German gays that supported the rise of that regime! Their money was welcomed and so was their support until they were no longer needed! Being prominent members didn’t matter, they were quickly replaced! Who do you think conservatives will turn to as a scapegoat for all the ills of their failures once you no longer have Muslims and Jews?

    You think that rescinding marriage equality is a bluff? Denial can cost you dearly!

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