French far-right party leader accused of appointing ‘gay lobby’

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The leader of France’s far-right Front National party has been accused of appointing a “gay lobby” to surround herself.

The accusations against Marine Le Pen came after the founder of a gay rights group was appointed as the party’s cultural adviser.

Sébastien Chenu, who founded the GayLib movement came shortly after the party’s deputy leader was outed as gay by a magazine.

Florian Philippot was outed by the Closer magazine last week.

One FN official Laurent Brice, described Ms Le Pen as a “gay icon” to many right-wing French gay people.

But the two appointments have caused rifts within the party’s grassroots supporters, many of who were unaware of Mr Philippot’s sexuality, and who support “traditional values”.

Following days of angry calls from FN members, Ms Le Pen decided not to appoint Mr Chenu to a paid position, but instead appointed him as an unpaid cultural adviser.

He will also run in a county council election in March.

The far-right party known to be homophobic and opposed to same-sex marriage dominated France’s European Election vote, while its leader called for the pro-same-sex marriage President to dissolve the country’s parliament.

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