A French MP’s views on homosexuality and gay history have been called “nauseating” and led to a demand for him to be ejected from his party.
Christian Vanneste, a member of Nicolas Sarkozy’s UMP, said in a film released this week that narcissism was a fundamental element of homosexuality as as gays “refuse the other” sex, The Local reports.
He said gays had not been deported from wider France during World War 2, only being removed from the eastern regions annexed by Nazi Germany.
His latest comments form part of a video called ‘Favoriser la famille pour preparer l’avenir’, or ‘Favouring the family to prepare for the future’.
In the twenty-minute Libertepolitique.com video, Vanneste suggests with a wry smile that gays have a “little preference” for younger men who resemble themselves when they were between 17 and 20 years old.
He also claims that gay rights issues are given a prominence in politics and media which exaggerates their relevance to public life around France.
Vanneste is the Sarkozy-led UMP party’s MP for a region in northern France.
Jean-François Copé, the party’s secretary general, said he would not “shirk his responsibilities” on the video, The Local reports.
The English-language French newspaper also reports French presidential hopeful François Hollande’s spokesperson branding Vanneste’s views “nauseating ideology”.
Hollande has committed to legalise same-sex marriage in France if his presidential bid is successful this spring.
Nadine Morano, UMP’s Apprenticeship and Professional Formation minister called on Twitter for Vanneste to be ejected from the party.
In 2008 Vanneste had his conviction and fine for homophobic speech overturned. He had said homosexuality was “inferior to heterosexuality, and could be dangerous for humanity” and became the first politician in French history to be prosecuted for homophobic remarks.
The Court of Appeal (Cour de Cassation) overturned the lower court ruling in the name of freedom of speech, stating that “if the disputed remarks were able to hurt the feelings of certain homosexual people, their contents do not go beyond the limits of freedom of expression.”