Far-right politician sparks outrage by calling same-sex parents ‘two faggots’
Lawmakers are calling for an Austrian far-right politician to resign after he said a gay couple were “faggots” and “a negro.”
Bruno Weber, who sits on the City Council in Amstetten, made the comments in response to an advert from ÖBB, the country’s nationalised railway service, which featured an interracial same-sex couple with their child.
His remarks came the week after a gay Afghan teenager was reportedly rejected for asylum in Austria after officials said he did not “walk, act or dress” like a gay person.
Weber is a representative of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), the governing coalition’s junior partner whose anti-LGBT candidate Norbert Hofer lost the 2016 Presidential election in the final round of voting.
His fellow party member Manfred Pühringer, who sits on the council in Linz, posted the advert – which states that a new family railcard is “for a mother, father, partner or friends travelling with children” – on Facebook.
He captioned the post: “It’s not nice, is it?” below which Weber wrote: “That’s not normal! 2 alleged fagots [and a] baby and of them one is a negro. I’m afraid…”
The councillor said that the ad meant he would “definitely not renew” his railcard, adding that he would use a privately run competitor instead.
The Austrian People’s Party, Social Democratic Party and Greens have all condemned the message.
Amstetten Vice Mayor Anton Katzengruber urged Weber to quit, saying: “I do not understand why you would post something like that. But it once again shows the spirit of the FPÖ.
“After such statements, he can only resign, he harmed the city of Amstetten. We have also contacted the police to check if this is also a criminally relevant incident.
“This brings Amstetten back into a bad light that it does not deserve.”
Deputy Mayor Dieter Funke questioned whether, since Weber was in charge of housing in the city, allocations have been handed out “according to objective criteria.”
And the Amstetten Greens demanded his resignation from all political positions.
Weber has apologised for the comments, saying: “My reaction to the ÖBB advertising poster posted here on Facebook on Tuesday was inappropriate and unacceptable due to the terms used!
“As a conservative person and family man, the traditional family image is simply important to me.”
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He added that a national conversation about gay adoption should “allowed to be conducted”, but that it should take place “of course on a factual level.”
Same-sex couples have been allowed to adopt in Austria since a ban on the practice was struck down in 2015.
The councillor, who used anti-gay and racist slurs in his message about same-sex parents, has also donated to Licht für Kinder (Light for Children), a charity which helps to make children’s wishes come true.
“I would like to give this apology with a donation to the non-profit organisation ‘Licht für Kinder’ in the amount of €1,500, – appropriate seriousness and thus make a small contribution to those who need our help most urgently – needy children,” Weber wrote.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Austria last year, with weddings set to begin in 2019.