French Presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron has laughed off an MP’s allegations that he is a secret homosexual controlled by a “wealthy gay lobby”.
Nicolas Dhuicq, a outspoken member of the National Assembly, attempted to smear centre-ground Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in an interview with Russian government-controlled news agency Sputnik.
In the interview Dhuicq sought to play up fears that “there is very wealthy gay lobby” behind Macron with a number of “open homosexuals” close to him.
The Russian-controlled outlet also attempted to question the politician’s private life, bringing up a “persistent rumour that [Macron] is secretly gay and living a ‘double life’.”
At an event on Monday, the married Presidential hopeful responded to the claims.
Mr Macron, who tied the knot with wife Brigitte Trogneux in 2007, said: “I hear people saying that I have a secret life or something. It’s not nice for Brigitte… she is asking herself how I could physically do that. She shares my life from morning to night.”
According to The Local, he denied the rumours, adding: “I am who I am, I have never had anything to hide.”
Of the aspersions that he is in a relationship with Radio France chief executive Mathieu Gallet, Mr Macron joked: “If you’re told I lead a double life with Mr Gallet it’s because my hologram has escaped” – a reference to a rival candidate making an appearance at a rally by hologram.
Macron is the favourite to face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in May’s run-off election, following a scandal that that savaged the campaign of Republicans right-winger Francois Fillon.
The centrist candidate is the strongest supporter of LGBT rights among the top candidates.
Mr Fillon, who strongly opposed the introduction of same-sex marriage in 2013, has shrugged off calls to directly repeal same-sex unions if elected President – instead planning to pare back the rights of gay couples to adopt.
The candidate, who voted against an equal age of consent in 1982, says he wants to change the law to ensure “a child is always the fruit of a father and mother.”
Under Mr Fillon’s proposals, same-sex couples would be banned from fully adopting a child, under a new requirement that children must have both male and female parents.
Ms Le Pen’s party has previously maintained strong ties to the anti-LGBT lobby, and though she insists she has made “reforms”, many of her party’s most senior figures have expressed homophobic views.