Le Pen's LGBT support could suffer after she pledged to ban same-sex marriage
Less than four years since Francois Hollande legalised gay marriage in 2013, Le Pen now plans to reverse the legislation so same-sex couples would only be able to enter civil partnerships.
The news emerged after the Front National leader released a list 144 pledges as she continues to dominate the polls ahead of the first round of voting on April 23.
In the pledge, Le Pen vows to “replace” the Taubira law, which legalised same-sex marriage, with an “improved” form of civil unions.
The pledge claims legislation would “not be retroactive”, suggesting there could be a race for same-sex couples to get married before the new legislation is brought in.
Macron, who has a wife, was forced to deny allegations he was having an affair with another man Candidates for the 2017 French Presidential Election Mon, January 30, 2017
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The plan is likely to shock some of Le Pen’s gay voters, many of whom have opted to support her because of the Front National’s presentation of Islam as a threat to LGBT rights.
An IFOP poll found that between March 2011 and November 2016, support for Front National grew faster among gay voters than among heterosexual voters.
In a survey of 15,379, support grew from nine per cent among both LGB and straight respondents to 16.5 per cent among LGB and 14.5 per cent among straight respondents.
Le Pen’s party also have a number of gay men in senior positions, including Florian Philippot – the deputy leader.
Gwen Fauchois, a longtime activist on HIV issues and LGBT rights in Paris, said: “Gays don’t vote only on gay questions, but if they’re in a stage of hesitation [about how to vote], it may sway them one way or another.”
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Florian Philipott, Le Pen's deputy, is an openly gay man
Le Pen’s popularity has soared following allegations that rival candidate Francois Fillon paid his wife and children huge sums from parliamentary funds for work they may never have carried out.
Emmanuel Macron, a leading supporter of LGBT rights among the leading candidates, now appears to be Le Pen’s main rival.
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