Cabinet minister comes out as gay with defiant vow to fight Poland’s shameful ‘LGBT-free zones’
France’s minister for European affairs Clément Beaune has publicly come out as gay and vowed to fight against Poland’s “LGBT-free zones”.
The politician is a member of Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! political party, and was appointed as Minister of State for European Affairs by the French president in July.
Now, the 39-year-old has come out as gay in an interview with French LGBT+ magazine Têtu, saying he wants people to see that being gay is “not an obstacle” to a career in politics.
When asked about LGBT+ rights in Europe, the minister replied: “I am gay, and I have no problem saying it,” according to Politico.
He went on to address the stark situation for LGBT+ people in Poland, where various municipalities have declared themselves to be “LGBT-free zones”.
Beaune committed to fighting anti-LGBT+ bigotry in Europe in his role as Minister of State for European Affairs.
Clément Beaune has a ‘responsibility’ to fight Poland’s ‘LGBT-free zones’
“I wouldn’t want people to say I am fighting against ‘LGBT-free zones’ because I am gay,” Beaune said.
“It would be insulting to say I am leading that fight for myself.
“However, as European affairs minister, I have an additional responsibility. I must fight for tolerance.”
The full interview with Beaune will be published by Têtu on Wednesday (9 December).
Poland has faced strident criticism from other European countries for its treatment of the LGBT+ community over the last year.
In a memorandum released on 3 December, Council of Europe commissioner for human rights Duna Mijatovic criticised authorities in Poland for the appalling treatment of queer people in the country.
In a 16-page report, Mijatovic said “homophobic statements by leading public figures” were creating an atmosphere of “hate and intolerance”.
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In September, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen condemned the introduction of “LGBT free zones” in Poland, saying they have “no place” within the European Union.
The German politician said: “I will not rest when it comes to building a union of equality.
“A union where you can be who you are and love who you want – without fear of recrimination or discrimination.
“Because being yourself is not an ideology. It’s your identity, and no one can ever take it away.
“So I want to be crystal clear – ‘LGBT-free zones’ are humanity free zones. And they have no place in our union.”