France: Anti-gay National Front wins first Senate seats

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France’s homophobic and anti-Semitic Front Nationale party has won its first seats in the Senate.

The far-right Front Nationale, led by Marine Le Pen, picked up their first two seats in the chamber this week as the left-wing government lost its majority to the UMP.

Marseilles elected FN candidate Stéphane Ravier, while Fréjus elected the party’s David Rachline.

The Front Nationale has had a surge in popularity this year, topping the ballot at the European elections in May with over 25% of the vote.

The FN has previously been accused of fostering homophobic violence by aligning itself with aggressive anti-equal marriage factions, with  a 78% rise in anti-gay attacks across France.

In February, an FN councillor was accused of attacking gay rights activists in the Burgundy town of Auxerre.

Front Nationale candidate Anne-Sophie Leclere was jailed in June for comparing the country’s justice minister to a “chimpanzee” after she denounced the party as homophobic.

Le Pen herself last year paid tribute to writer and historian Dominique Venner who shot himself dead after denouncing equal marriage and immigration in a blog post.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has previously ruled out working with Le Pen, accusing her party of “anti-semitism and general prejudice”.