So just to give you a little general information about the elections lately, here's a quick overview of the candidates and the parties that exist in France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_presidential_election,_2012
Now, I'm sure most of you know about our dear friend, Nicolas Sarkozy. There are so many things that I want to say about him, but I think the best is that he's been spending the past month or so "totally not campaigning." We'll forget that his government has been taking swipes at his Socialist challenger left and right. Recently, in fact before his announcement of candidacy this evening, he has already named Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet his campaign head. She's currently the Minister of Ecology, Durable Development, Transport and Housing. Here she is on the 10th of February on Bourdin 2012 http://www.bfmtv.com/bourdin-2012-nathalie-kosciusko-morizet-actu23187.html
The most recent discussion has been Sarkozy's article in Le Figaro stating that he will not support Marriage Equality in France because it will lead to opening adoption to gay couples. We'll forget that there are already gay couples raising children, just like in the US, but we'll digress. Here's the English translation of the article. http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/french-president-says-no-to-homosexual-marriage-and-adoption-euthanasia
Most people see this as him pandering to the extreme right, especially on Marriage Equality here. Recently there was an article in Libération Mag where it was suggested that Sarkozy may be adding Marriage Equality to his election platform. Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research was quick to deny this. In truth, Sarkozy is doing everything he can to pull as much of the weight away from the far right, Front National, because it will be much more difficult for him to win without more far right support. Hence he's been pushing on social issues to tie up his loose ends. He will announce his candidacy tonight.
Most recently Christine Boutin (candidate of the Christian Democratic Union) announced that not only will she suspend her candidacy but furthermore will throw all of her support behind him, making the announcement last night on TF1. In a nutshell, she believes that gays and lesbians have no right to marry and should never be allowed within 100 yards of children even though she has so many gay friends as she famously said in an interview a while ago. She's France's answer to Rick Santorum. Here's an interview she did recently after the announcement. http://www.bfmtv.com/christine-boutin-renonce-a-la-course-a-la-actu23343.html
François Hollande continues his candidacy today saying that Sarkozy's declaration changes nothing. In essence he says that Sarkozy is a "président de la virevolte." It's a hard phrase for me to translate, and I'm sure those with more French experience might have a better idea of how. Literally it's a president of spin, as in literally spinning. Hollande says that Sarkozy wanted to appear as a dynamic candidate full of change and promise. During his term, Hollande says he showed himself to be more of the same. He further states that Sarkozy can create as many new personas as he would like, but his record will be his albatross.
Since I really haven't done much to disguise my slant, I'll also include this article here about recent comments made by a UMP Member in the Nord (North) Region, Christian Vanneste. Apparently he had an interview with a website where he said quite a few offensive things about gays. It should also be noted he was the first French Politician to be fined for his comments against homosexuality. (The charges were later dropped as protected speech, however offensive they may have been.) http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/15/french-mp-gays-must-be-narcissists/
Members of his own party are already calling on him to be kicked out. As he says in the beginning of the video, the most recent polls show that 63% of French citizens support marriage equality. One can only hope that the UMP realizes that this divisive language will not help them win elections in the future.
UPDATE: Apparently it's official. Christian Vanneste will be removed from his post. http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/02/15/french-ump-expelling-vanneste-over-gay-comments/