Same sex couples should not be able to marry or adopt, the French interior minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarzoky has announced.

Mr Sarzoky outlined his policies and campaigning strategy in a French magazine interview this month gearing up for the country’s 2007 presidential elections.

He told Le Figaro he is against same sex marriage and adoption but in favour of financial equality, “I am deeply hostile with any form of discrimination. The homosexual ones should not undergo some. This is why I am in favour of the equality on the financial level.

“It is thus necessary to create a system which, on the tax level, patrimonial and successional, guarantees the equality between a couple heterosexual and a homosexual couple.”

But he insisted that marriage should remain between a man and a woman, “The model which is ours must remain that of a heterosexual family: the children need a father and a mother,” he added.

Other presidential candidates from the right include Dominique de Villepin, Labour

Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, Reuters reports.

Many commentators and gay activist will be hoping that Socialist favourite Senegene Royal will win the election, returning the first leftist President since Mitterand.

Meanwhile current French President Jacques Chirac has still not ruled himself out of the race, despite being 73 and deeply unpopular.

France’s gay community can currently benefit from same sex parental rights, anti- discrimination legislation and civil unions.