Sarkozy party MP slammed for denying Nazi gay deportations

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A member of parliament from President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP party was roundly condemned Wednesday for saying that no French gays were deported to Nazi death camps during World War II.

The UMP said it would likely expel Christian Vanneste and remove him as a candidate in legislative elections due in June after he made the claim in an online video.

Politicians from across the political spectrum joined the UMP's condemnation of the politician, who had already in 2010 suggested there was a link between homosexuality and paedophilia.

The UMP said it would vote at a party meeting next Wednesday on expelling Vanneste, a deputy for the northern Nord region, for making the "unacceptable, deeply shocking and intolerable comments."

Vanneste acknowledged in the video that homosexuals were persecuted by the Nazis, but argued that apart from French regions annexed by Germany, "there were no deportations of homosexuals from France."

The Nazis sent thousands of homosexuals from Germany and territories they occupied during World War II to concentration camps, and historians say a smaller number were deported from France to the death camps.

Vanneste stood by his claim and said the UMP party was caving in to the "extraordinary media influence of the gay lobby."

"If my comments were inexact, then prove this to me and I will withdraw them immediately and will apologise," he told AFP.

© 2012 AFP

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