As part of her 144 pledges to the French people, anti-mass migration Front National presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has said she will abandon gay marriages in favour of civil partnerships.
Earlier this month after holding her campaign launch in Lyon, Ms Le Pen talked about her 144 pledges to the French people, many of which are against globalism and the power of the European Union. Pledge number 87 speaks to her conservative supporters and rejects the idea of gay marriage which has been legal in France since 2013, but would allow for civil partnerships, law firm Marilyn Stowe claims.
Civil partnerships in France are known as pactes civils de solidarité or PACS and were brought into French law in 1999. the French government defines PACS as a legal contract “concluded between 2 adults of different sex or of the same sex, to organise their joint life.”
PACS allow many of the benefits of marriage including a death benefit in case of accident of a spouse and the ability to receive a residency permit for a spouse who is from outside the European Union. One difference between PACS and marriage is that marriage allows a non-European spouse to apply for French nationality, while PACS does not.
Le Pen has experienced a surge in support from the gay community in recent months. Experts say that the previous taboo of supporting the Front National among members of the gay community is slowly disappearing.
French-Algerian author Didier Lestrade said: “People are not conflicted anymore to voice right wing opinion,” and added: “What’s happening in bars, especially when people have a couple drinks, when they are among friends, you can hear that they’re not afraid to voice opinions that for a long time were repressed within the gay community.”
One of the most prominent members of the FN, party vice president Florian Philippot is openly gay after being outed in 2014 by a French magazine and the party boasts more high-ranking gay members than any other party in France.
Ms Le Pen currently leads in the polls for the first round of the presidential election and is expected to face centre-left Emmanuel Macron, who is running as an independent candidate, in the second round.
Mr Macron has also touched on the subject of gay marriage, infuriating his left wing supporters by saying that right-wing supporters had been “humiliated” and stigmatised by the 2013 gay marriage legislation. The comments, along with claiming that the French colonisation of Algeria was a “crime against humanity”, have seen him slip in the polls.
As a result of the gaffes by Macron and the “fake jobs” scandal of Republican candidate Francois Fillon, Marine Le Pen is quickly catching up in second round polls. An investment firm’s trend predicting artificial intelligence program predicted that Le Pen will win both the first and the second round and saw no chance for Macron.