Politician says gay men are ‘not OK’ but lesbians are ‘sort of’ acceptable
A Swiss politician has pronounced that gay men are “not OK” – but he doesn’t mind lesbians as much.
The claim comes amid a debate in the country on whether to extend full marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples.
Switzerland has been slow to adopt same-sex marriage, lagging behind neighbouring France and Germany.
Ahead of discussion of the issue in Parliament, Christian Ineichen tweeted that “we should stay within the limits of biology” on the issue.
According to The Local, he elaborated: “Man + Woman: OK. Woman + Woman: sort of OK. Man + Man, not OK.”
The comments led to criticism from other politicians and the country.
Ineichen has since claimed he was talking about the prospect of gay people having children.
He told Luzerner Zeitung that he believes “many people share my opinion” that “family policy should be guided by the rules of biology.”
The politician added that he was “open minded” about gay people and “have no problem with that at all,” but added: “I have trouble with it if suddenly the whole family picture is to be flipped upside down.”
He added that “some of those who always demand tolerance are now very intolerant of people like me who have a different opinion,” but offered to “sit down for a beer and talk to those who disagree with me instead of having to read their critical comments on Twitter.”
He added that “the tweets reflect my personal opinion, which does not necessarily coincide with that of the party,” and said he would reflect his party’s wishes if the issue comes to a vote in Parliament.
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Ineichen now appears to have closed his Twitter account entirely.
In 2016 voters in Switzerland narrowly rejected a referendum initiative that would have changed the constitution to explicitly ban same-sex marriage.
The country, which regularly puts key legislation before the electorate, voted by 50.8% to 49.2% on Sunday, to reject the proposal.
The change would have made it much harder to ever introduce equal marriage in the country.
The country’s notoriously-slow political system means that progress is still likely to be slow-going.