The minister responsible for local authorities, Caroline Cayeux, said in an interview with Le Parisien on Thursday that she “regrets” her “stupid” remarks made in 2013, in which she criticized the opening of marriage to same-sex couples. Her statements come two days after Public Senate first asked Ms. Cayeux whether she was upholding old statements “on marriage for all and adoption for same-sex couples, which have been described as whim and design reform that goes against nature.”

The minister had initially said on television: “Obviously I stand by my words. But I’ve always said that the law, if passed, I would apply it.” And to add: “I must tell you, all the same, I have a lot of friends among these people. Frankly, it’s a bad trial that I’m being given, and it upset me a lot.” “I’ve never been part of La Manif pour tous, I’ve never paraded, let’s be clear,” the minister also said.

Several associations fighting against homophobia announced in the process that they had filed a complaint against the minister. Asked about this on Wednesday on LCI, the Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, who came out in 2020, described his colleague’s remarks as “extremely hurtful” and said he had told him. “I am one of ‘those people’ (…). And I will not be silent on this subject,” he continued. Asked whether Ms. Cayeux should resign, he replied, “That’s not for me to say. »

“I would like to renew my most sincere apologies here”

At Le Parisien, in an interview posted online Thursday evening, Ms. Cayeux returned to these reactions: “The remarks mentioned date back ten years. And if I can’t deny having held them, obviously I wouldn’t use them anymore and regret them. I understand that these stupid and clumsy words could have hurt so much. I would like here to renew all my most sincere apologies, because they do not reflect my thoughts at all”.

When she was criticized for having said that she had “a lot of friends among these people”, in reference to homosexual couples, Ms. Cayeux added: “I appreciate how shocking and painful this expression was for many people. This emotion touches me all the more personally as this statement goes against my total determination to fight against all forms of discrimination. »

“I absolutely should never have said these words which in no way represent my thoughts. I therefore fully understand the emotion aroused and I reiterate my apologies, ”she insisted. Ms. Cayeux announced that she had “written a letter of apology” to the associations, and added: “I want them to know that they will always find me by their side in the fights they lead against discrimination and for the equality of rights. »

Asked about this on France Inter on Friday morning, Marlène Schiappa encouraged her colleague to take advantage of her presence in the government to carry out actions to fight against discrimination: “As Minister in charge of local authorities, Caroline Cayeux has many levers to support the cause. So, if she wishes to do so, she can support the opening of LGBT centers all over the country. From words we will have to move on to action, “said the Minister Delegate for the Social and Solidarity Economy and Consumer Affairs.