Melextra JET (avatar)

Melextra JET

Translators / Traducteurs

Abonné·e de Mediapart

113 Billets

0 Édition

Billet de blog 1 avril 2013

Melextra JET (avatar)

Melextra JET

Translators / Traducteurs

Abonné·e de Mediapart

Gay Members of the Front National Keep a Low Profile

Melextra JET (avatar)

Melextra JET

Translators / Traducteurs

Abonné·e de Mediapart

Ce blog est personnel, la rédaction n’est pas à l’origine de ses contenus.

Marine Le Pen procrastinated about the anti gay marriage protests, Rue 89 asks whether she is afraid of putting off a modern generation of FN supporters and a “gay entourage”.

Image: “Montage du logo du FN et de l’arc-en-ciel” (“the Front National logo combined with the rainbow flag”), Leonardo da Cerdan / Rue89

Article source: “Mariage gay : au FN, les homos se taisent, comme d’habitude”, Nolwenn Le Blevennec, Rue 89, 03/01/2013

Florian Philippot, vice-president of the Front National, will not “personally” take part in the January 13th protest against gay marriage. Speaking on radio station Europe 1, he added that the FN would soon make a decision whether or not to participate..

Marine Le Pen has been doing her best to avoid the question for the last few days, saying France has other priorities. The leader of the FN has been mocking the UMP, a party which she says is “on the brink of imploding”. To each their own rift. The current split in the FN is the result of a divisive a social issue: “It sparks debates and discussions, nothing more,” says a party member.

Gay entourage

(The cover of the January 2nd 2013 edition of Minute)

In one corner is the traditional FN, including the old guard like Bruno Gollnisch and Marie-Christine Arnautu (deputy leader of the party), the traditional Catholics and the regionalist movement, who are firmly opposed to gay marriage.

In the other corner is what is called “the new FN”, a younger and more secular group, who do not get worked up about industrial decline than social traditions. Marine Le Pen has nothing to gain by turning her back on this more modern elecorate.

During the presidential election, the leader of the FN already found herself in a bind on the question of abortion. She eventually managed to wriggle her way out of it by declaring her opposition to the state funding of “comfort abortions” (an invented term): a choice she insisted was economic rather than ideological.

In its January 2nd issue, Minute claimed that the lack of a decision on the part of the FN was the result of the power of a “homosexual lobby”. According to the extreme right-wing weekly, the moment Marine Le Pen took office coincided with the arrival of a swathe of new gay members (which Minute finds regrettable).

Sociologist Nicolas Lebourg, an expert on the French far right, even compares Marine Le Pen to the French-Italian diva Dalida, “adored by her gay entourage”. Is she trying to keep them on side?

“A matter of decency”

A gay executive in the Front National, whom we asked about the influence of gay people close to the leadership, laughed and promised to call us back… but he never did. Eventually, he sent a text message (a more discreet means of communication) asking us not to mention his name. He continued:

“The respect of privacy is non-negotiable. I talk about my private life with nobody, and I mean nobody. I don’t talk about it with Marine. I’m against gay marriage, an improvement of the Pacs is sufficient.”

There seems to be no pressure on the leader. The party has always welcomed gay members, as long as they keep quiet and remain invisible. A year ago, in Lyon, Julien Rochedy, leader of the Front National youth group told us about this phenomenon:

“There are a lot of gays at the FN headquarters in Nanterre, everybody knows it. But you don’t see it. It’s a matter of decency. It’s like Marine Le Pen and Louis Aliot [her partner (ed.)], you don’t see anything.”

Mickaël: “I hate le Marais

(Photo: Mickaël at the Rue89 offices in 2011 – A.Cerdan / Rue89)

All the gay members of the FN that I ’ve managed to speak to have said the same thing: they are extremely discreet about their homosexuality. Mickaël is a dandyish young FN supporter, a student in neuroscience that Rue89 invited to talk with former government benefits commissioner Martin Hirsch. At the time, he told us:

“I’m gay but I’m against gay marriage. That doesn’t mean I’m a homophobe. For me, it’s a communitarian claim.

This’s why I hate le Marais. I don’t support the Gay Pride communitarian rally at all. Quite a lot of gay people don’t aspire to equality, but prefer indifference. There are many gay people in the FN who think the same way I do.”

When we called him back this Thursday morning, he said he had not changed his mind. He would not be taking part in the demonstration against gay marriage because he was not “vehemently opposed” to it.

But he believes that, during a recession, a new law would contribute to a general loss of stable points of reference. Mickaël is in favour of improving the Pacs, but he does not understand this “ridiculous fight” for “a word” and a “decadent” symbol (what with all the phony marriages and divorces, marriage has already lost some of its prestige, he says).

Philippe will have a child with a woman

A young man we will call Philippe, whom we met on the fringe of the FN’s ‘summer school’ confrerence in September 2011 said something along the same lines:

“I’m not in favour of scrapping the Pacs, it’s a good thing, but I’m against marriage and same-sex parenthood. I’m bisexual, so if I have a child one day it will be with a woman.”

Again, discretion is the order of the day:

“We don’t monitor people’s sex-lives at the FN. It’s a question of privacy. If I came with a boyfriend to an FN meeting, which I don’t do, I wouldn’t hold his hand.

We are extremely discreet; it’s not our style to do otherwise. We’re here for politics, this isn’t a dating agency like Meetic.”

Translation: Perrine Jégou and Alexandra Bilthauer

Editing: Sam Trainor

Ce blog est personnel, la rédaction n’est pas à l’origine de ses contenus.