Prime Minister Gabriel Attal: the first openly gay man of the French Fifth Republic

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal: the first openly gay man of the French Fifth Republic

On January 9, 2024, President Emmanuel Macron appointed Gabriel Attal, 34, as the new Prime Minister of France, replacing Elisabeth Borne

This is a historic choice for France, which marks a cultural turning point in French politics.

Attal is in fact the first openly gay French Prime Minister and also the youngest of the Fifth French Republic, effectively surpassing the record of Laurent Fabius, appointed at the age of 37 in 1984.

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Gabriel Attal was born in Clamart, to a Moroccan Jewish family. Son of a film producer, he studied science and public law. He began his political career within the Socialist Party following in the footsteps of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, for whom he was a parliamentarian.

His political career was meteoric. In 2016 he left the PS to join En Marche! of Macron, of which he became one of the most loyal while the following year he was elected deputy in a right-wing stronghold of the Hauts-de-Seine, beating the candidate of Nicolas Sarkozy’s party.

In 2018 he joined the government as Secretary of State for Youth, making him the youngest member of the Fifth Republic. As such, he promoted the civil service, one of Macron’s campaign promises.

In 2020 he was appointed government spokesperson, demonstrating communication skills and the ability to manage a difficult period, marked by the economic health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In July 2023, he took over the prestigious French Ministry of Education, where he carried out a reform oriented towards a return to traditional teachings and the valorization of merit.

Gabriel Attal is openly gay and married to MEP Stéphane Séjourné from Macron’s party. His homosexuality has never been an obstacle to his politics, on the contrary it was perceived as a sign of modernity and openness. Attal has always been a supporter of LGBTQ rights, both nationally and internationally.

In 2019 he participated in the first march organized in Kiev, Ukraine, where he denounced the discrimination suffered by the country’s LGBTQ community. The following year, he launched a campaign against homophobia and transphobia in schools, with the slogan “Love is love“.

While in 2021 he defends the law that extends access to assisted procreation to lesbian couples and women by stating that “the family is not a model, a bond“.

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The appointment of Gabriel Attal as Premier was welcomed by the LGBTQ community, which sees him as a figure of reference and hope. However, his task will not be easy, because he will have to face the challenges posed by economic recovery, ecological transition, internal and external security and institutional security. He will also have to prepare the ground for Macron in 2025, countering the rise of Marine Le Pen’s populist right and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s radical right.

Attal declared himself ready to put his energy, his determination and his vision at the service of France. He also promised to listen to different sensitivities and to involve citizens in the decision-making process. His goal is to renew trust and strengthen social cohesion while respecting diversity and republican values.

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