Gay Paris Mayor Sets Sights on Presidency
Delanoë, ahead in opposition polls, says France is ready
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2008 12:44 PM CDT
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, left, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, talk during their French League Cup final soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Lens at the Stade de France in Saint...   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – The battle is on for the leadership of France's opposition Socialist Party, and a man who says the nation is ready for a gay president is the surprise leader, the Telegraph reports. Bertrand Delanoë, the popular mayor of Paris, is the early favorite, outpolling Ségolène Royal, who lost last year's election to Nicolas Sarkozy. 

Delanoë, 57, was a surprise winner in 2001 and was easily reelected this year. Once stabbed by a homophobe, he says in a recent book, "People think that homosexuality is accepted in Paris but not in the suburbs and the provinces. That is a false idea. As people feel that it's not a problem for me, it is no longer a problem for them,"