Paris gay pride sparks heated Front National debate | News | DW | 02.07.2016
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Paris gay pride sparks heated Front National debate

The party's student association at a Parisian university has voiced support for the gay pride parade. But party leaders distanced themselves, saying it was "out of the question" to support the event.

Thousands of people marched through the streets of the French capital on Saturday in a gay pride parade, three weeks after the deadly attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Around 1,000 police secured the route through Paris, allowing revelers to enjoy the festivities "without fearing attacks or aggressions."

"Three weeks on from the LGBT-phobic and racist attack in Orlando, to march is an act of resistance. We must not give into fear," said Inter-LGBT association spokesperson Amandine Miguel.

However, the celebrations sparked a heated debate in the right-wing party Front National (FN) after its student association at the Paris Institute of Political Studies tweeted in support of the march.

"More than ever necessary after the homophobic attack in Orlando, we wish a good #MarcheDesFiertes to all," the group said in a tweet, referring to the name of the gay pride parade.

The party's Vice President Louis Aliot took to the social media platform to voice his disapproval.

"The FN does not support the gay pride march, an exhibitionist and anti-FN symbol of militant communitarianism," said Aliot in a tweet.

The leader of the party's youth wing, Gaetan Dussaeusaye, said it was "out of the question … to support the gay pride march."

Although former FN leader Jean-Marie Le Pen once said he saw homosexuality as a "biological and social anomaly," his daughter and current party leader Marine Le Pen has attempted to soften their hard-line position by advocating for civil partnerships for same-sex couples.

The FN party campaigns on an anti-immigration, anti-EU and often Islamophobic platform.

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