French presidential candidate fined under hate-crime law after condemning lesbian mums

The political party ‘Reconquete!’ was founded in December 2021 by Eric Zemmour, far-right candidate for the 2022 presidential election.

Far-right French presidential candidate Éric Zemmour has been fined for condemning lesbian mums under hate-crime laws.

Zemmour was handed a 4,000 euro fine for anti-LGBTQ+ comments that violated the law –  a decision his attorney said he’ll be appealing. 

The fine is for a comments made on French TV show Face à l’info on 15 October in 2019. The judge ruled Zemmour’s comments “present a contemptuous image of the people they target”.

In the ruling, the judge added that Zemmour’s comments reduced those who wish to have a child “to a selfish ‘whim.”

“They become outrageous when they say these people, in order to satisfy their whim, can use their enslavement of the apparatus of the state,” he added.

On the show, Zemmour discussed medically assisted reproduction, following France passing a draft law to allow lesbian couples and single women to access fertility treatments, including artificial insemination and IVF. 

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In June 2021, the French parliament passed its bioethics bill with 326 MPs in favor and 115 against. 

‘This is about the whims of a tiny minority’

He said at the time, as reported by LGBTQ Nation: “This is about the whims of a tiny minority that controls the government and enslaves it for its own benefit and is going to disintegrate society… 

“Because we will have children without a father and I just said that it’s a catastrophe and, secondly, who is going to force all the other French people to pay for these whims?”

His comments sparked outrage from LGBTQ+ organisations with French LGBTQ+ organisation, Stop Homophobie, filing the successful lawsuit against Zemmour. 

The ruling noted that Zemmour’s words saw gay people “find themselves denigrated in the eyes of the public because of who they are”. 

“Their sexual orientation leads necessarily, according to the defendant, to behavior contrary to the public good.” 

The director of Face а l’info, Serge Nedjar, was fined 4,000 euros and ordered to pay 3,000 euros to several LGBTQ+ organisations and 2,000 euros in attorneys’ fees.

In 2022, Zemmour was sued by six LGBTQ+ groups who say he denied gay Holocaust victims in his book La France n’a pas dit son denier mot (“France has not said its final word”). 

He has also been convicted two times for hate speech and in 2022 was appealing a third, The Guardian reported. A conviction against him came in January 2022 after he said that child migrants were “thieves, killers” and “rapists”, adding “we should send them back”. 

Zemmour, who was found guilty of copyright infringement after he used unauthorised film clips and newsreels in a campaign video, ran for president in 2022 and used his anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs to garner supporters. 

He has previously compared equal rights for trans students to Nazism, referred to abortion as “collective suicide”, and claimed homosexuality is being spread with LGBTQ+ “propaganda”.