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Lesbian Leads Germany's Resurgent Anti-Immigrant Party


Alice Weidel, who compared Angela Merkel to a "pig," helped lead Alternative Fuer Deutschland to a surprising third-place finish  in the German election.

Though France and the Netherlands rejected right-wing candidates in their elections earlier this year, an anti-immigrant party made major headway in the German election Sunday -- with a lesbian leading the party.

As the top candidate for Alternative Fuer Deutschland, Alice Weidel helped her far-right party capture 12.6 percent of the vote and become the nation's third-largest parliamentary party. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel secured a fourth term with her Christian Democratic Party receiving the most votes in the election, the Christian Democrats and Merkel will now have to work with the AFD.

The rise of AFD is making some nervous; it's the first time a right-wing party has gained a prominent foothold in Germany's Parliament since World War II. The party is known to employ blantantly racist tactics in its bid to stir up nationalism and opposition to immigration.

A meme with the AFD logo circulated before the election showing a white woman surrounded by Middle Eastern men. The men were deliberately photographed to appear predatory and were taken out of context; they were Egyptian men protesting in 2011 and the woman was a British model.

Weidel, 38, is known for similarily aggressive tactics. The former Goldman Sachs banker was quoted as comparing Merkel's government to "pigs" for allowing nearly 1 million migrants and refugees -- many of them fleeing war-torn nations in the Middle East -- into the country.

Merkel's government is comprised of "pigs [who] are nothing other than marionettes of the victorious powers of World War II, whose task it is to keep down the German people," Weidel said in 2013.

"The big number of migrants cannot be integrated in the long run," Weidel said in August.

Weidel, married to a film producer and the mother of two children, claims her party is not homophobic, but AFD ran an "obituary" for German family values when the nation passed marriage equality in June.

Other leaders of AFD have spoken of honoring the "achievements" of German soldiers in World War I and World War II.

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