French Official's 'Those People' Remark Doesn't Land Well

LGBTQ community and supporters say Caroline Cayeux should not be in government
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 17, 2022 10:30 AM CDT
French Official's 'Those People' Remark Doesn't Land Well
French minister for regional relations Caroline Cayeux.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

Pressure is mounting on a French government minister to quit over comments stigmatizing homosexuality and LGBTQ people, in the latest challenge to President Emmanuel Macron’s leadership. The remarks by Caroline Cayeux have hurt and angered many—including her colleagues—and prompted broader discussion around persistent discriminatory attitudes by people in power, per the AP. More than 100 prominent figures published an appeal Sunday in the newspaper Journal du dimanche questioning why she's still in government. Signatories included parliament members, senior officials, an Olympic medalist, doctors, artists, an ex-prime minister, a former top Macron adviser, and others from within Macron's centrist political camp.

Cayeux was asked in an interview this week about her opposition to France’s 2013 law authorizing gay marriage and adoption, and comments at the time saying they were “against nature.” Speaking to broadcaster Public Senat, she said that “I maintain my remarks," adding: "I always said that if the law were voted, I would apply it. I have a lot of friends among all those people, and I’m being targeted by an unfair trial. This upsets me.” The remarks sticking by her original sentiment—and the reference to "those people"—provoked calls for her resignation, and 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. She told newspaper Le Parisien that the comments “do not at all reflect my views." The issue has divided the government at a time when Macron is politically weakened after losing his majority in parliament. Transport Minister Clément Beaune, who is gay, called Cayeux's comments “extremely hurtful.” Government spokesman Olivier Veran called them out of touch with the times. Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Cayeux’s remarks were “clumsy” but welcomed her apology, and said Cayeux would be “vigilant” going forward to support the fight against anti-LGBTQ discrimination.

(Read more France stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.