Foreign diplomatic missions in Belarus have voiced words of support whereas the Internal Ministry has publicly condemned the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT) 2019.
A rainbow flag on the UK embassy and “unnatural inflation” statement from the police.
The rainbow flag appeared on the building of the British embassy in Minsk on 17 May to mark IDAHOBIT 2019.
“On the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia, the British Embassy in Minsk together with the U.S. Embassy, Embassy of Sweden, Israeli Embassy, United Nations in Belarus and World Health Organization Belarus make a stand for the rights of the LGBT-community,” the statement from the Embassy reads.
Speaking in support of IDAHOBIT, Ambassador Fionna Gibb said they do not promote LGBT, but promote equal rights for the LGBT community:
“LGBT people are not asking for special rights but simply to enjoy the same dignity and respect and rights as others.”
She also spoke about BBC’s highlighting the comments made by a Belarusian TV host about same-sex couples during the Eurovision broadcast.
“I applaud to BBC for criticizing Belarus’ TV host’s comments aired during the semi-final of the Eurovision song contest,” Fionna Gibb remarked.
Foreign missions and international organizations in Belarus have released a video and statements in support of IDAHOBIT 2019.
The Day of Combating Homophobia did not and does not have any significance for Belarus, the Interior Ministry reacted to the rainbow flag on the UK Embassy.
The message on the official website of Belarus police states that traditional family values are the priority of the socially oriented policy of the Belarusian state, hence “the Ministry of the Interior is guarding these values” as well.
“Our position is firm: unnatural inflating of same-sex relationships is destructive, violates the norms of moral and leads to an increase in sexual crimes against children!”
The Interior Ministry then repeats the motto they used last year – “We stand for the natural, they won’t pass”.
Outrage over Eurovision comments
At the Eurovision semi-finals on 14 May Belarus TV host Yavhen Perlin made a controversial remark during live commentary.
When a “kiss-cam” zoomed into two men kissing, the presenter reacted: “Oh, my goodness! Maybe we’d better not watch!”
A few seconds later another male couple were shown kissing, making the presenter even more indignant.
Finally, as the camera moved on to showing men and women kisisng, Yavhen Perlin commented: “They finally find some cool couples”.
Those remarks caught the attention of the BBC and triggered hot discussions among Belarusians. Many described the host’s words as rock bottom accoding to BBC.
Holding 42nd position out of 49 in the Rainbow Europe survey, Belarus is considered one of the worst places in Europe to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans and intersex, according to its laws.