Anti-gay remarks during Azerbaijan presidential debates

Baxış sayı:

During the public debates, Anti-gay remarks of the candidates for the presidency drew an attention. one candidate used homophobic language to dishonor the opposition party leader; another candidate named homosexuality as an illness and showed Russian policy regarding homosexuals as a good example.

Azerbaijan scheduled snap presidential election on 11th April.  Political spectrum of Azerbaijan is highly conservative and so often political figures gave homophobic and transphobic statements. Anti-gay views also visible during political actions. In the meantime, anti-gay remarks of the candidates which running for the presidency drew an attention.

In this video, we are bringing to attention these remarks made by two candidates.

LGBT people are frequent victims of stereotyping and target of hate speech by public and political figures, as well as in the educational system. Some examples draw a clear picture of this endemic problem. After a trans-woman was stabbed to death in Baku in June 2015, a Member of Parliament publicly dismissed the fact that this was a hate crime, and used this case to speak out against the possibility of gender change: “There are attacks against the moral values of society. Therefore, it is inevitable to take measures against such cases. This is why society must take a tough stance against it.”

In the same year, the chair of the National TV and Radio Council stated that the TV channel ANS should raise the standards of its programming instead of broadcasting programs that “present the homosexual lifestyle as normal”. In another case, the “Family Psychology” book, which received approval by the Ministry of Education and published in 2015, indicates that homosexuality is a disorder of sex, particularly among the psychopaths. The book also contains a sentence about homosexuals being sick. One of the school textbooks for 5th grade students contained a reference to a male teacher with a gender neutral name which is mostly known in society as a female name. After a public accusation of propagating homosexuality, the deputy director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Education commented on the issue as: “I regretfully see that people came to the “conclusion” which is far from our moral values and a way of thinking that is inherent in our national morals.

These examples show a strong need to combat hate speech and stereotyping based on SOGI.

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