Sunday was the presidential primary for France’s center-right Les Republicains party.
Going into the race, former prime minister Francois Fillon was third behind ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy and Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppé.
But Fillon snagged a surprise victory, taking more than 44% of the vote in the first round.
He will now face Juppé in a ruff-off vote next Sunday—whoever wins will go up against Marine Le Pen, leader of the ultra-right wing National Front, in next year’s election.
Unlike Juppé, frontrunner Fillon opposed civil unions and voted against same-sex marriage, which came to France anyway in 2013.
“François Fillon owes us a real clarification,” wrote the feminist group Les effronté-e-s in a statement. “[He] has an impressive CV in the fight not only against equal rights but also against homosexuality.”
Indeed, Fillon opposed letting same-sex couples adopt or use artificial insemination, telling a Catholic group, “a child is always the fruit …