Europe’s ‘Last Dictator’ Can’t Pronounce ‘Homosexuality’

The Belarussian gay website reports that Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenkо — who has been described as “Europe’s last dictator” — was unable to pronounce the word ‘homosexuality’ on the first try at a October 7th press conference with Russian journalists.

They say:

After several unsuccessful attempts, he specified: “Well, what you may call it, when a man with a man… homosexuality.”

At the press conference Lukashenkо explained how he had “unwillingly” offended the foreign ministers of Germany and Poland by criticizing homosexual relations.

Guido Westerwelle, the German Foreign Minister, is gay and lives openly with his partner, Michael Mronz. A year ago at a state dinner Lukashenko is reported to have advised Westerwelle on how to lead a “normal life.”

“Westerwelle remembers this even now. I still feel guilty – who made me say this? I did not mean to offend him. If he likes this and this is normal for them… But it’s beyond my comprehension. I said this honestly,” Lukashenko said on Friday .

Der Spiegel described the apology as “too late…and unconvincing.”

Lukashenko added:

“As for lesbians, this is the blame of men, this is tolerable. But if men – I do not understand this.”

LGBT are repressed in Belarus and Deputy Chairman Sergey Yenin of Belorussian LGBT rights group IDAHO-BELARUS is currently touring with showings of the documentary East Bloc Love.

In advance of a visit to the UK on October 15, he said:

“I’ve been beaten by police, thrown out of my university by the secret police and exiled to Warsaw, but I will not be silenced by the dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenka.”

“Gay people in Belarus have no voice, so I’m grateful for being given the opportunity to highlight our cause to the wider European community.”

According to the results of a survey conducted by in April 2011, 65.6% of respondents have thought of leaving Belarus because of homophobia.

In June the Executive Committee of the Belarus’ capital Minsk banned the display of the rainbow flag, the international symbol of the LGBT movement designed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978.

Last month, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, said
that Europe needed to defend human rights workers on the continent. He wrote:

The clampdown on human rights defenders in Belarus continues unabated. In early August, Ales Bialiatski, the chair of the Human Rights Centre Viasna and vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), was arrested. He is still being held in pre-trial detention. Activists who have demonstrated for his release have been summoned by the police and one of them is awaiting trial.

Picture by Ethan Zuckerman


Clarissa W.
Clarissa W.6 years ago

isn't it strange how most the homophobic comments are poorly written and conceived? very telling, in my opinion. lukashenko is a confused and unhealthy man, and that's really all you can say about him. the civil rights situation in belarus, on the other hand, definitely deserves more discussion.

Adriana v.
A.J. v6 years ago

I find it very sad to read a lot of homophobia here.....very, very sad....:(((

Carol Macintosh
Carol m6 years ago 1corinthians 6: 9-10

Beth M.
Beth M6 years ago

no country should send any type of aid to Belarus. Money talks.

teresa royer
Terry Royer6 years ago


annelies j.
annelies j6 years ago

Carol M:
"when God said love your brother I don`t think he ment like that...."
That "God" of yours sure has weird conditions. But then again, who knows what he really meant.

Carol Macintosh
Carol m6 years ago

when God said love your brother I don`t think he ment like that....

Jane H.
Jane H6 years ago

For many straight people, homosexuality has been hidden for so long (because of persecution) that this is a wholly new concept for them and so they fear what they don't understand. Everywhere, as here in the US, people are beginning to get used to a new reality.

Carol Fyfe-Wilson

Ignorance and the resulting 'isms' abounds!

annelies j.
annelies j6 years ago

Carol M. This is an article about some ignoramus who's in charge of an entire country. Unfortunately it shows how many other homophobes and ignorant people there are.