‘Pinkwashing’ populism: Gay voters embrace French far-right

‘Pinkwashing’ populism: Gay voters embrace French far-right, by Thomas Adamson.

Motivated in part by the deadly Islamic extremist attacks at home and at a Florida gay nightclub, a growing bloc of traditionally left-leaning gay voters has embraced far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, leader of the once-fringe National Front party.

“Faced with the current threats, particularly from radical Islam, gays have realized they’ll be the first victims of these barbarians, and only Marine is proposing radical solutions,” said Kelvin Hopper, 25, a gay artist who lives in a hipster district of Paris and plans to cast his ballot for Le Pen.

While nobody knows how far Le Pen’s supporters will carry her in the April 23-May 7 vote, several years of polls have shown the National Front is now more popular with the LGBT voters who make up 6.5 percent of the French electorate than it is with straight voters.

That the constituency once reviled by the party is buoying it suggests populism has taken root in France more deeply than previously thought.

Reality peeking though here too. Tough choice for gays — having to vote for Le Pen because she is the only candidate willing to act against those who want to kill them.