The emergence of the far-right over recent years has reignited anti-LGBT+ rhetoric within political discourse, threatening the accomplishments of the Pride movement with regards to marriage equality, abuse, and under-representation.
Various right-wing nationalist parties have been making gains across Europe, and the run-up to the elections has been tinged with anticipation surrounding the issues that are at stake.
The ongoing results for this year’s elections so far have shown that there will be significantly more representation of nationalist and far-right parties than previous years, with a number of elected candidates reported to have espoused homophobic views.
Matteo Salvini of the right-wing anti-immigration Lega Nord (North League) party has topped the election polls for Italy. The party has become known for its conservative views; last year, Lorenzo Fontana, also a member of Lega Nord, claimed that families with LGBT+ parents “don’t exist” and should not be legally recognised.
Anne Widdecombe of the Brexit party has been elected as the MEP for the south west of England. A former Big Brother contestant, Widdecombe is known for her staunch anti-LGBT+ position and had clashed with Courtney Act over various LGBT+ issues on the show.
Recently, she has remarked on the struggle for transgender rights as “lunacy” and has supported business who have refused to serve LGBT+ customers.
Various candidates ran for the far-right VOX party in the EU elections. Javier Ortega Smith, the Madrid Candidate for VOX argued earlier this month that the Madrid Pride Parade should be moved away from the city and into suburbs to avoid “problems and traffic jams”. He has also opposed state-funding for Madrid Pride and suggested that organisers should pay for the clean-up.
VOX is currently in third place, having gained 6.2% of the vote thus far.
Various other right-wing nationalist parties from France, Slovenia and Hungary are set to gain seats in the European Parliament. These new gains for the right-wing establishment have marked a shift in the European political landscape, with a number of elected candidates tolerant of anti-LGBT+ ideas.
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