Cameron denies joking about Lithuanian lesbians
The Conservative party leader has outraged the government of an EU partner with some off-the-cuff remarks about arts funding.
At an Arts Council lunch last Tuesday David Cameron reported to have said: “I hope you won’t be giving too many grants to one-legged Lithuanian lesbians.”
The Lithuanian ambassador said his comments “prompted a wave of outrage” in his country and has written to Mr Cameron asking for a clarification.
A spokesman for the Tory leader insisted he never used the word ‘lesbian,’ instead he referred to “one-legged Lithuanian dance troupes” at an event in the Tate Britain gallery in London.
“We have had a dialogue with the ambassador last night, and we just wanted to stress that absolutely no offence was meant in David’s comment,” said Mr Cameron’s spokeswoman.
“It’s not in any way a slight to Lithuania, with which we have very friendly relations.
“He was making a serious point about where lottery grants are going.”
A spokesperson for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which champions the equal rights of disabled and gay people, refused to comment directly on Mr Cameron’s reported comments.
“It is very important for politicians to remember that their comments can be taken out of context,” she told PinkNews.co.uk
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“They should be sensitive to their audiences.”
More than 100,000 Lithuanians live in the UK.
The country, which joined the EU in 2004, is having some problems adapting to Union norms with regards to LGBT people.
A new law currently before the Lithuanian parliament could be amended to ban the “promotion” of gay, lesbian or bisexual relationships to children.
In February a poll of members of the Lithuanian parliament revealed that over half of them agree that homosexuality is a perversion.
The survey reflected a deeply ingrained homophobia in Lithuanian society. Homosexual sex was legalised in Lithuania in 1993.