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French Lawmaker Christian Varreste Under Fire for Attacks on Gays

A French MP is under fire for remarks he made in an online video attacking gays and saying that " there were no deportations of homosexuals from France" by the Nazis during World War II

The Local reported:

VannesteIn the video, which was put online on Tuesday evening with the title "favouring the family to prepare for the future" (favoriser la famille pour préparer l'avenir), Vanneste talks about the "famous legend of the deportation of homosexuals." ... Vanneste acknowledges that gays were persecuted by the Nazis, but claims that "apart from these three annexed departments, there were no deportations of homosexuals from France." The comments immediately sparked a wave of criticsm across the political spectrum.

In the twenty-minute video Vanneste also offers his analysis of homosexuality, claiming one of its main features is "narcissism." ... "Fundamental to homosexuality is narcissism," he said. "The foundation is "I refuse the other", the refusal of the opposite sex." .... He goes on to offer further analysis, for example that gay men prefer partners who "resemble them when they were between 17 and 20 years old." He also refers to gay marriage as an "anthropological abberration." He then complains that a high number of gay people in the media, arts and communications has given gay causes a high profile, out of proportion "with the role that it has in the wider public, where it continues to be extremely marginalised."

The AP reports:

The head of Sarkozy's conservative party UMP, Jean-Francois Cope, said Wednesday that lawmaker Christian Vanneste would be expelled because of his "deeply shocking and intolerable comments." Cope says the party will finalize the decision at a meeting next week.

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  1. As we can see, democracy, respect for the individual and human rights are almost uniformly present in France - unlike the "most-est, most perfect, most wonderful, best-est country" in the world! When almost all the political structure roundly condemns a reactionary, discriminatory, anachronistic idea - that's when you can be proud of your country.

    Posted by: Sean | Feb 15, 2012 1:47:01 PM

  2. The French are very discriminatory towards Algerians and those who trace their roots to Algerians or are Muslim. You know not of what you speak, Sean.

    Posted by: unruly | Feb 15, 2012 2:02:24 PM

  3. I don't know whether any gay people were deported France to concentration camps in Nazi Germany. But I am betting this guy doesn't know either. And as far as I am concerned, calling someone narcissistic is just another way of saying you don't like them. People who use this term are not qualified to diagnose this mental health condition.

    Posted by: Charlie | Feb 15, 2012 2:08:18 PM

  4. The fact that this turd even has a job is mind boggling.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Feb 15, 2012 2:18:42 PM

  5. Sean, French bias against Muslims is well documented, and cultural xenophobia has a storied history there. Like most Western countries, including the U.S., France has both good and bad points. The US is still one of the free-est countries in the world, but gays are indeed one of the few remaining groups to suffer legal discrimination on a fairly widespread basis. It serves no one, however, to move beyond honest analysis to sweeping overgeneralization.

    Posted by: LuckyLinden | Feb 15, 2012 2:28:19 PM

  6. What a moron! Gay men choose as partners people who look like they did in their 20s?
    Huh? What? That sounds more like the pathetic straight white men who have sex with WHITE women in their 20's as a salve on their mid-life crisis.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Feb 15, 2012 2:32:48 PM

  7. There's a typo in the title, his name is Vanneste, not Varreste.

    @Charlie: There were, and he probably knows (for a long time, it was a matter of public debate in France to know whether LGBT should be allowed to participate officially in WWII deportation commemoration ceremonies).

    Posted by: Pierrot | Feb 15, 2012 2:50:19 PM

  8. Don't get me started on the atrocities of heterosexuality. Let's see... rape, incest, spousal abuse, divorce, abortion, venereal disease, prostitution... the list goes on and on.

    Posted by: Rance | Feb 15, 2012 2:51:30 PM

  9. Vanneste is part of the worst of the right in this, pseudo conservative sub-party of UMP. He is the most vocal -with Boutin- of the homophobes in France. But it's a loosing battle for him and his friends. More than 70% of young french are in favor of extension of marriage to same sex couples and for adoption by those couples. If the left wins the election in May, these 2 rights will be voted this year. Vanneste is just a dinosaure waiting for its extinction. (and not one of the cut ones)

    Posted by: oakpope | Feb 15, 2012 4:29:56 PM

  10. and yes there was unfortunately homosexuals eported from France (there was a tv movie on national broadcast some years ago about the subject).

    Posted by: oakpope | Feb 15, 2012 4:34:37 PM

  11. The first comment I made was based on 20 years of life in France, and meant to highlight that the ideas of most of the Republican candidates would be considered illegally discriminatory under current law. Of course, two generations ago, things were not as "evolved" as today.

    Regarding the knee-jerk declaration that France is "anti Muslim" is a general comment that is, largely, inaccurate. Most French people are not "xenophobic"; France has a long history of welcoming others into its fold. The issue of Algerians is not the simplistic issue of "anti-Muslim" discrimination - it is one of a very large minority not adopting the values of the country where it CHOSE to live. There is a very large, culturally distinct and socially separate group of people, who do not assimilate into the country of adoption.

    For example, entire residences are found full of women forbidden to speak to any man in the absence of her husband. When the French State declares that practice sexist and illegal under French law, extremist Islamic voices cry that France is discriminatory. The reality that you cannot maintain a large minority in one society if they do not integrate.

    The French are the least "xenophobic" people I have come across, actively interested in other cultures. They will accept anyone as their own, provided that they ascribe to the values to which the French State adheres: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Unfortunately, reactionary Islamists (the tiny minority) openly proscribe those ideas under a cloak of "religious freedom".

    Just as there is no stereotypical "gay" person, there is no stereotypical French person.

    Posted by: Sean | Feb 15, 2012 9:15:56 PM

  12. "Sean, French bias against Muslims is well documented, and cultural xenophobia has a storied history there. ... It serves no one, however, to move beyond honest analysis to sweeping overgeneralization."

    @LUCKYLINDEN ... It seems to me you just made a sweeping overgeneralization yourself regarding the French.

    @SEAN ... Well said.

    Posted by: RJ | Feb 15, 2012 11:12:49 PM

  13. I too have spent a great deal of time in France (not 20 years-but several) and Sean has got it right on. Perhaps unruly has formulated his opinion on reports from American media concerning France, which can be biased as we know.

    Posted by: JHR459 | Feb 16, 2012 3:47:17 AM

  14. @Sean: Nothing Christian Vanneste said in this video is new, he has said it all before. Bear in mind that there's a presidential election coming and the timing of the reactions is quite interesting. In 2005 Nicolas Sarkozy, who was the leader of the UMP party before he became President, had already promised to expel Christian Vanneste over antigay comments.

    Posted by: Jude | Feb 16, 2012 4:30:57 AM

  15. I think for Sarkozy and the rest of the UMP the bigger concern is comments he made about the holocaust as opposed to gay rights. They can't afford any kind of slip ups right now, considering the last 5 years that Sarko has spent breaking promises. Currently, he's around 5 points behind the Socialist candidate, François Hollande. I wrote about this on my blog just the other day.

    Posted by: Tamayn Irraniah | Feb 16, 2012 4:48:17 AM

  16. Gays were absolutely deported to death camps from France and other Nazi occupied countries for being Gay. Read The Men with the Pink Triangle.

    or go to the Holocaust museum in DC.

    Posted by: Mawm | Feb 16, 2012 9:40:32 AM

  17. Gays were oppressed,and many were sent to concentration camps, during the war. There were also gays in the Nazi and fascist parties, including powerful positions.

    WW2 and the Nazi, fascist and communist totalitarian regimes are poorly explained and understood, even in Europe. Millions of people, all kinds of people, were murdered by right and left totalitarian regimes, and they both harassed, demonized, outlawed and murdered homosexuals. And MANY average people across Europe actively and passively participated and condoned what was essentially eugenics and even genocide.

    The left's pro-gay attitude in Europe, America and elsewhere only dates from fairly recent history. The communist when in power in Europe, the Americas, and elsewhere were brutal towards homosexuals, including the guy that some 'radical' gays like to wear on a shirt, Che Guevara; he actually personally murdered men for being gay and sent many to their deaths or painful prison terms, just for being homosexual.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 16, 2012 10:54:11 AM

  18. @ratbastard
    The German Left tried to decriminalize being gay for a very long time before finally succeeding. And I doubt your statement for the rest of Western Europe.

    East Germany was different, of course, because under Soviet doctrine gays were a sign of Western decadence and didn't fit into their supposed utopia.

    Re Sean:
    "The reality that you cannot maintain a large minority in one society if they do not integrate."

    But that's not true for most of them. The US has also shown that it is possible. What's true is that these minorities are disproportionally poor and that integration is also not really supported by the majority society. The same is true for Germany, for example: People with Turkish origin are supposed to integrate, but not into the same schools, neighborhoods, work environments etc.

    Also the values to respect must necessarily be the values of the constitution and general laws, not tradition and peculiarities.

    I really thank Greece for providing another target for central European hate.

    Posted by: Chris AE | Feb 16, 2012 5:51:51 PM

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