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A French legislator is being slammed by his fellow politicians for making antigay comments.
In a video that ran on a French website, Christian Vanneste, a member of Parliament from President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party, remarked that gay people had too much power in France and were causing mankind to "lose its dignity" through their manipulation of the media. He also referred to the deportation of French homosexuals during World War II as a "famous legend."
Fox News reports that Vanneste's comments "unleashed an outpouring of criticism from left and right," and on Wednesday UMP chief Jean-Francois Cope announced that Vanneste could be relieved of his duties as a result of his "deeply shocking and intolerable comments."
Even President Sarkozy commented on the scandal, saying Wednesday night that he was "horrified by anything that from near or far could appear to be homophobia."
After being publicly denounced by gay rights groups, Vanneste responded that he was the unfortunate victim of a "gay lobby."
"I have nothing to take back," he told France's Le Monde newspaper. "I have said nothing reproachable. I think the whole thing is stupid."
Denying the Holocaust is considered a serious offense in France, punishable by fines and prison time.
Members of the UMP party will reportedly make their decision regarding Vanneste's future next week.
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