As a youth leader for France’s right wing National Front, Julien Rochedy has earned the title “beau bigot.” It’s not hard to understand why. In a radio interview, Rochedy has called for instituting Russian-style laws to ban “LGBT propaganda in schools” and “in the streets.”
Rochedy, 25, is a photogenic pin-up for the ultra-conservative National Front, better known for its opposition to immigrants. During last year’s sometimes violent protests against marriage equality, the party was content to let the Catholic Church and politicians from other parties take the lead, even though it is opposed to same-sex marriage. However, the party has been trying to moderate its image, threatening to sue journalists who dub it far-right.
Rochedy’s comments won’t do much for the rebranding. When asked about the violent attacks against the LGBT community that accompanied Russia’s crackdown, he dismissed them as “complete nonsense.” Which will come as a surprise to this victim, this victim, and this victim of Russian homophobia, to name just a few. No wonder Rochedy has also been called “petit Putin.”
Photo credit: National Front