Anti-gay Marine Le Pen hit with eggs on French election campaign
Marine Le Pen has been pelted with eggs as she campaigns to be French president.
The far-right candidate could elected the country’s leader on Sunday evening, when tens of millions cast their vote.
The National Front (FN) party candidate had arrived at Dol-de-Bretagne, France, for a public appearance in the final days of the election.
She was surrounded by bodyguards and TV cameras as she arrived, as well as many angry demonstrators.
While talking to a man in the crowd she was pelted with eggs, as they began to pour down on her and her entourage.
Le Pen was hurriedly escorted inside to escape the egging.
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It comes a day after Le Pen and her main rival went head-to-head in a live presidential debate, which saw heated clashes over the economy, immigration and education in front of 20 million viewers.
In her manifesto she promises to create an “improved” form of civil unions in the country to “replace” the equal marriage law passed under the current Socialist government.
Macron, a supporter of LGBT rights, dedicated an entire section of his manifesto to advancing LGBT issues.
It doesn’t seem to have put off some LGBT voters, however.
Le Pen has recently made inroads with white conservative gay voters by playing off concerns about Islamic extremism, despite her manifesto promise to scrap same-sex marriage.
Polling ahead of the first round of voting has suggested 20 percent of gay voters would lend their support for Le Pen, in a wide field of candidates.
But now the race narrowed to just two candidates, new data suggests she has surged in support among the gay community.
Hornet, which is the most popular gay hook-up app in France, polled 5000 gay men ahead of the second-round vote.
The poll found that 63.5 percent of gay men will be voting for Emmanuel Macron, but 36.5 percent are backing Marine Le Pen.
Younger gay men, many of whom are too young to remember the long and fraught battle for LGBT equality in the country, are more supportive of the anti-gay marriage candidate, whose party fought tooth-and-nail against progress.
Among gay men aged 18 to 29, support for Le Pen surges to 43.5 percent, behind Macron on 56.5 percent.
The sentiment towards Le Pen is different among older gay men.
For men aged 30 to 49, support for Le Pen plunges to 32.2 percent, with 67.8 percent backing Macron.
Hornet adds :”[In the older] age group, the respondents knew the Front National before Marine Le Pen took over in 2010 with her attempt to de-demonize the extreme right party.
“They may recall her father Jean-Marie Le Pen’s homophobic and serophobic remarks. For example, he explained in the 1980s that people living with HIV should be locked up.”
Front National also includes some of the highest-profile gay politicians in France.
The architect of Le Pen’s astounding journey to the cusp of power is her deputy Florian Philppot.
In 2014 Philippot was ‘outed’ as gay by French Closer magazine, which published photographs of him holidaying with another man.
Philippot, who has since spoken about his sexuality publicly, has led the outreach to gay voters, insisting: “We’re a party that doesn’t care about people’s preferences, their sexual practices or whatever.
“You’re a French citizen foremost. And the Front National is a very young party: the members, the voters, the candidates are young. This is a modern party.”
The run-off election takes place on Sunday.