French Presidential candidate Nicholas Sarkozy has publicly criticised the Pope's position on human sexuality.
M Sarkozy’s criticisms of the church (which he was baptized into) were made public in an interview with the French Newspaper La Liberation.
He said; "I was born heterosexual. I have never questioned myself about the choice of my sexuality. That is why the church's position, which consists of saying 'Homosexuality is a sin,' is shocking,"
The presidential candidate was critical of the view that sexuality was a choice.
"One doesn't choose one's identity. One has the identity that one has" he said.
M Sarkozy also explained his personal opinion on the construction of human sexuality claiming that he does not attribute adult sexuality solely to nurture. He shared how when he was a child he was shocked by the explanations of homosexual behaviour which would attribute homosexuality to ‘bad’ or over-affectionate parenting.
M Sarkozy likened this popular reasoning to other non-scientific theories of behaviour such as claiming anorexia is caused by the absence of a father or that autism in children was a result of divorce.
"When a child was autistic, people said: 'Oh! The parents got divorced, that caused a shock.' Since then we know that autism is genetic. I think that sexuality also is an identity” Sarkozy said.
Though M Sarkozy has publicly denounced the views of the Vatican he does not fully support a full agenda of equality.
PinkNews.co.uk notes that during a televised debate M Sarkozy announced that he was opposed to any form of gay marriage. However he has promised new adoption rights for gay couples.
M Sarkozy, 52, is the French Ex-interior minister and leader of centre-right UMP. He is regarded as a formidable candidate yet has caused controversy and divided opinion in France due to the tough stance on immigration he took in his previous role.
He is also noted for calling some inhabitants of the deprived French suburbs 'rabble'.
Though known for his tough immigration stance Sarkozy is also known for initiating state aid to help construct mosques.
Sarkozy is the son of a Hungarian immigrant father and a French mother who comes from Greek Jewish origin.
He was baptised a Roman Catholic and grew up in Paris.