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Europe’s anti-immigrant parties are becoming more gay-friendly

I’m here, I’m queer, I fear sharia

AMID a sea of rainbow flags, Sebastian Tynkkynen sings along to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and waves a pro-gay placard. “Christians, don’t hate us. Islam, don’t kill us” reads his sign. Like many others at an LGBT pride parade in Kokkola, a small town in Finland, Mr Tynkkynen is proud to be bisexual. Unlike most of them, he is also proud to be anti-immigrant.

Mr Tynkkynen (pictured) represents the nationalist Finns Party (formerly the “True Finns”) on the city council of nearby Oulu. He also used to lead the party’s national youth wing. Last year a court fined him €300 ($ 350) for inciting hatred after he wrote a Facebook post that said: “The fewer Muslims in Finland, the better.”

Mr Tynkkynen’s gay-friendly Islamophobia is not unusual. Nationalist and anti-immigrant parties in Europe’s more socially liberal countries are trying to shed their old reputation for gay-bashing. Partly, this is because…Continue reading

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