French Presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron has pledged to “name and shame” employers who discriminate against LGBT people.
Macron, a centrist candidate who is currently the favourite to become the country’s next leader, launched his full policy manifesto today.
In it he pledged to challenge homophobic in everyday life, and to tackle anti-LGBT discrimination in the workplace.
The candidate said he would scale up random checks of employers’ compliance with equality laws, while also “naming and shaming” those found to have discriminated.
He also promises to defend progress on equal marriage, hailing the law as a “fundamental achievement” of the past five years and an “an enrichment of what the family is in France that shows its importance to all of us”.
Macron’s stance puts him at odds with far-right candidate Le Pen, who has pledged to scrap equal marriage.
Elsewhere in the document he commits to opening up IVF and medically assisted fertility treatments to single women and female same-sex couples.
In one key concession, the former Socialist minister rules out reform of France’s strict surrogacy laws, any changes to which would be strongly opposed by the centre-right members of his unity coalition.
However, he does pledge to ensure that families with children born via international surrogacy will have their full rights protected, adding that it is wrong to “treat these children as foreigners in their own country”.
Elsewhere this week he was interviewed by France’s main gay magazine Têtu.
Macron told the magazine that he would “protect” equal marriage unlike Le Pen, and that LGBT people “will always find in me a champion”.
Russian government-controlled outlets last month published smears aimed at Macron, reporting a “persistent rumour that [Macron] is secretly gay and living a ‘double life’”, and also accusing him of being in the pocket of a “very wealthy gay lobby”.
The politician, who has been married to his former school teacher Brigitte Trogneux since 2007, attacked the smears in his Têtu interview.
He said: “Two things are vile behind the implication: to say that it is not possible for a man living with an older woman to be anything other than a homosexual or a hidden gigolo is misogynous. And it’s also homophobia.
“If I had been a homosexual, I would say it and I would live it.”