The Washington Post

Minister sparks furor over LGBTQ remarks

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Pressure is mounting on a French government minister to quit over comments about homosexual­ity and LGBTQ people, in the latest challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership.

Caroline Cayeux’s remarks have hurt and angered many, including her colleagues, and prompted broader discussion around persistent discrimina­tory attitudes of people in power.

More than 100 prominent figures published an appeal Sunday in the newspaper Journal du Dimanche questionin­g why she was still in government.

Cayeux was asked in an interview last week about her opposition to a 2013 law authorizin­g same-sex marriage and adoption and comments at the time saying they were “against nature.” Speaking Tuesday to broadcaste­r Public Senat, she said she was being wrongly painted as prejudiced.

“I maintain my remarks. I always said that if the law were voted, I would apply it,” she said. “I have a lot of friends among all those people, and I’m being targeted by an unfair trial.”

The remarks set off shock waves among LGBTQ people and others, and led to calls for her resignatio­n. A legal complaint was filed against her for public insult.

Cayeux then tweeted her regrets, saying her words were “inappropri­ate,” and sent a letter to anti-discrimina­tion groups to apologize.

The issue has divided the government at a time when Macron is politicall­y weakened after losing his majority in Parliament.

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