Far-right French Presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen has quietly pledged to close off same-sex marriage.
Front National leader Marine Le Pen is currently leading in first-round polls ahead of France’s Presidential election.
Le Pen’s party previously maintained strong ties to the anti-LGBT lobby, though it has recently made inroads with conservative gay voters, purporting to have “
But despite any “reforms”, Le Pen has now quietly confirmed plans to end same-sex marriage in the country, burying the policy announcement in a list of 144 pledges released last week.
Buried midway through the lengthy document at number 87, Le Pen promises to create an “improved” form of civil unions in the country to “replace” the equal marriage law passed under the current Socialist government in 2013.
The policy plan specifies that the changes would “not be retroactive”, sparing Le Pen the legal headache of trying to unpick or downgrade thousands of existing same-sex marriages, but the replacement plan would close same-sex marriage to new couples – meaning gays would once again only be able to enter civil partnerships.
It would be a return to the former status quo for France, which only permitted same-sex couples to enter a contractual form of civil union (PACS) from 1999 until 2013.
Le Pen’s policy document does not specify exactly what “improvements” would be made to the PACS system.
As well as plans to tamper with equality laws, Le Pen also outlines plans to restrict fertility services, ending assistance for gay couples wanting to have children.
Ironically, the plans were snuck out under a sub-heading claiming FN would “allow everyone to find their place” in French society.
The policy shift is surprising given the FN’s recently attempts to court gay voters, playing down reports of homophobia and taking advantage of fears over homophobic Islamic extremists.
Though she leads in the first-round poll, Le Pen is not expected to succeed in May’s run-off election, where she will likely face either centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron or Republicans right-winger Francois Fillon.
Macron, the only supporter of LGBT rights among the top candidates, has faced ‘gay’ smears in recent weeks from Russian state media outlets.