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Czech PM asks MP to apologize for homophobic remarks, she refuses and will no longer run for office

16.7.2016 11:06
Bohuslav Sobotka and Pavlína Nytrová (Collage:  Romea.cz)
Bohuslav Sobotka and Pavlína Nytrová (Collage: Romea.cz)

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, head of the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD), has called on MP Pavlína Nytrová (ČSSD) to apologize for her "inappropriate and offensive remarks" about "homosexuals". If she continues to make such statements then she will no longer be able to run on the party ticket.

The PM announced the results of his meeting with Nytrová yesterday in a press release. Last Wednesday, during debate of an amendment to the law on registered partnership, the MP had said, among other things, that "homosexuals" would do their best to legalize sex with children.

"I have asked MP Nytrová to apologize for the inappropriate and offensive remarks that she made during her recent appearance in the Chamber of Deputies. I emphasized to her that any dissemination of hatred and intolerance against sexual minorities contravenes the Social Democratic program and values," Sobotka's press release states.

The statement said the PM also reminded Nytrová that the ČSSD was one of the parties that supported the original law on registered partnership. Those rules took effect in July 2006.

The lower house last Wednesday was debating an amendment that would make it possible for registered partners to adopt each other's children. The bill was designed by a group of MPs from all parties, with the exception of the Christian Democrats, in 2014.

A similar bill was also submitted by legislators during the previous incarnation of the Chamber. The collapse of the Government of former PM Nečas, however, meant that it was never discussed.

During the debate last week Nytrová said, among other things, that most "homosexuals" are promiscuous, have an above-average tendency to consume alcohol, and that a higher degree of mental disorders occurs among them. Speaking subsequently on Czech Radio, she also declared that the "homosexual lobby" is gradually engaging in steps to establish "dominance" over heterosexuals.

"If [Nytrová] were to continue this line of argument in future, it would be incompatible with her candidacy for the ČSSD," Sobotka said yesterday. Czech Television has reported that Nytrová does not intend to apologize and stands by her remarks.

"I do acknowledge, however, that I used inappropriate arguments that might have hurt the feelings of homosexuals in the Czech Republic. My statement was not about homosexuals in the Czech Republic," she declared.

The MP also announced that she will not run for re-election next year. Allegedly she had made that decision before this scandal arose.

For the time being, however, she says she will still remain in the ČSSD. "The Prime Minister did not speak with me about leaving the party," she told Czech Television.

Other ČSSD politicians have distanced themselves from Nytrová's remarks, as have members of other parties. Czech Labor Minister and ČSSD vice-chair Michaela Marksová said Nytrová should take her opinions "with her to another party".

Czech Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier (ČSSD) has also drafted a similar amendment to the one being discussed last week, precisely because the bill in the lower house has undergone such a protracted process. The Government should soon discuss his proposed amendments to the law on registered partnership.  
 

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Bohuslav Sobotka, ČSSD, homophobia, Poslanecká sněmovna



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