A hopeful for the Paraguayan presidential race Horacio Cartes, has caused controversy after saying that, if his son were to marry a man, he would “shoot [himself] in the testicles”.
The comments came to light when the New York Times cited a radio interview with the presidential frontrunner, during which the 57-year-old compared gay people to “monkeys”, and then went on to make the violent threat.
“I would shoot myself in the testicles, because I do not agree,” Cartes was quoted to have said, regarding the question of how he would react if his son were to get married to a man.
He also went on to say that he believed that the legalisation of same-sex marriage meant the “end of the world”.
Cartes’ remarks have been strongly condemned by many, including his Liberal Party opponent Efraín Algere, who has not officially supported equal marriage, but who said that Cartes’ remarks represented “the Paraguay of the past.”
Despite holding back personally on the issue, Algere acknowledged that the possibility of equal marriage was “something that needs to be discussed”.
Paraguay currently has no legislation in place for same-sex marriage, or civil unions, however some have noted that if Cartes were to become president, he would be isolated from other Latin American nations which have legalised them.
In 2010, Argentina’s Senate voted 33-27 to support a bill to legalise equal marriage. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner supported the legislation, making Argentina the first Latin American country to allow same-sex marriage, and full adoption.
A judge in Paraguay recently refused to register the marriage of a gay couple who legally tied the knot in Argentina. Judge Nery Kunzle rejected Cazal Simon and Sergio Lopez’s request to register their marriage.
The presidential elections in Paraguay will take place on 21 April 2013.