A politician from the governing party in Venezuela unleashed a homophobic tirade in the country’s Parliament earlier this week describing an opposition leader as a “f****t” and accusing him of previously taking part in oral sex in public.
Lawmaker Pedro Carreno displayed photos in the National Assembly on Tuesday showing a top aide to opposition leader Henrique Capriles dressed in women’s clothing, apparently at a party. He suggested, without elaboration, that the photos proved the aide’s involvement with drug traffickers and male and female prostitution.
Mr Carreno, a former military officer, is angry with Mr Capriles for accusing him of being forced out of the armed forces for corruption and has challenged him to provide proof or resign as governor of the central state of Miranda.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro also intervened accusing Mr Capriles of using his office as governor to “prostitute youths”. Mr Capriles is being investigated on unspecified corruption charges.
“Respond, you homosexual,” Mr Carreno said during Tuesday’s legislative session. “Accept the challenge, you faggot.”
Mr Carreno claimed there was a police report saying Mr Capriles was caught having oral sex in public in 2000.
In response, AP reports Mr Capriles said: “If I was a homosexual, I would acknowledge it with pride to the four winds.”
President Maduro also confirmed the allegations against Mr Capriles’ civil servant were being investigated.
“Just 1% what was discovered was shown” in the National Assembly, he said. “The videos and photos of orgies are not publishable.”
A leader of the opposition’s pro-tolerance movement, Tamara Adrian of Pro Inclusion, called Mr Carreno’s comments despicable. “Venezuela is the only country in Latin America where the National Assembly has never discussed such issues as same-sex marriage.
“And if anyone asks why, the answer was clear yesterday,” she said on Wednesday in reference to Mr Carreno’s outburst.