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LGBT activists protest French president Emmanuel Macron over asylum plan

2017-07-21
A group of French LGBT+ activists have launched a protest against President Macron. Earlier this week, the 20 queer activists hung a banner over a bridge near the Palais du Louvre, protesting the government's recently unveiled asylum plan. The banner reads "Macron starves the migrants. Queers against borders." Earlier this month, the country's Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans for a law that would speed up deportations for those who enter the country illegally, along with the speeding up the asylum process and an increase in the amount of housing available to new immigrants. "I introduce (these measures) in all humbleness as I am perfectly aware that the issues at stake today are difficult," Philippe said. "It they were easy to solve, I have no doubt they would have been solved." One of the activists who took part in the protest, journalist Cy Lecerf Maulpoix, explained the group's actions in a piece for The Huffington Post. He claims that the proposed plan would lead to "more police, more evictions, more oppressions and more vulnerability."
Maulpoix writes that Macron's international image is not a true representation of the president's views. He writes that Macron "cultivates his Justin Trudeau-style with much dedication.
"Yet geographical distance blurs the complexity of reality. And behind the very rainbow, human-rights-friendly closet that he has decided to hide in when confronted by the international community, another truth has to come out."
He also addressed the treatment of migrants in Calais, and compared the persecution of LGBT+ asylum seekers to the situation unfolding in Chechnya. "For years now, many migrants have been persecuted in France in Calais and the rest of the country. Today, they are chased by the police in the forest to be prevented from sleeping. They are also being denied most of their fundamental rights. "Water is being poisoned regularly by police gas, distribution of food to the most vulnerable women and children especially is being forbidden.
"If I don’t talk about the situation of LGBTQI people in France now ― or the rise of LGBTphobia etc (there would be many things to say too) ― it is because we have decided as a group of allies to denounce a situation that is almost as inhumane as the persecutions of gay men in Chechnya we were so shocked about recently." Maulpoix argued that Macron's criticism of Vladimir Putin over his inaction over the Chechnya situation was an attempt "divert the gaze" from his own persecution of LGBT+ asylum seekers. More stories: Adam Garcia reveals he’s up for going “full-frontal” for a role ‘Bake Off’ winner John Whaite announces engagement to long-term boyfriend