Far-right National Front party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, who goes on trial on June 13 for insulting homosexuals and inciting homophobia, told a French gay magazine this week that he is not homophobic – in comments that were themselves homophobic.
Le Pen, 89, told the magazine Friendly: "As long as homosexuals do not touch the fly on my trousers or of my grandchildren, and that they do not walk down the Champs-Élysées with a feather in their ass, I do not care."
"I make the difference between homosexuals and 'homosexualists', who are the ones who turn their personal sexual choice into political ideology," he stated. "LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) is a lobby that wants to influence opinion, and stands as a representative of a community without the mandate," he added.
The MEP is set to face trial for a series of comments against homosexuals. In March 2016, he said in a blog: "I believe paedophilia, has found its roots (...) in the admiration of homosexuality.”
In December 2016 he told French newspaper Le Figaro that "homosexuals are like salt in the soup: If there is not enough it's a little bland, if there is too much it's undrinkable”.
Attends drag queen cabaret
In a possible attempt to soften the view of the judge ahead of his court date, he attended a drag queen cabaret show in Paris recently. At the famous cabaret "Chez Michou" he posed alongside the flamboyant owner of the popular nightspot and the local homosexual community.
The far-right politician published his memoirs at the end of February and they sold out before even arriving in bookshops. His publisher has had to arrange for a new print run to cope with demand after readers reserved 50,000 copies of Fils de la nation (Son of the Nation).
Despite this success, the party that he founded is desperately trying to ditch him and distance itself from all that he stands for. The National Front is awaiting a judicial decision about expelling him and on Sunday will vote on changing its name to finally close the party's controversial chapter on Jean-Marie Le Pen.