In the News 2009
Dutch MP Distances Himself from Anti-gay Remarks

Dutch MP Distances Himself from Anti-gay Remarks


Dutch Youth and Family Minister André Rouvoet has distanced himself from anti-gay remarks made by the Slovakian Member of the European Parliament Anna Zaborska. Some years ago, she argued that AIDS was God’s judgment on homosexuals.

The politician’s remarks have resurfaced because she is one of the speakers at the right-wing World Congress of Families being held in Amsterdam.

A video message from Rouvoet, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the conservative Christian Union party, will open the congress. His participation in the congress has already provoked criticism from various opposition parties including the Democrats D66, Green Left and the conservative VVD.

D66 points out that numerous organisations taking part in the congress are fiercely opposed to homosexual relationships, contraception, the right to abortion and the right to euthanasia. The gay pressure group COC, the development organisation WPF and the international organisation Catholics for Choice have also criticised the minister.

A spokesman for Rouvoet says “No conclusions can be reached from the fact that the minister has recorded a video message welcoming the participants to Amsterdam regarding his views of the various opinions held by the organisations involved. The minister distances himself from the specific remark made by Ms Zaborska but does not wish to comment on remarks made by other individual participants of the Congress.”

It was announced earlier that the deputy PM’s message will underline that he is the minister for all families, regardless of the parents’ kind of relationship. He calls on the participants at the congress to build bridges and to “think about how we can live together in a multicultural society with differing attitudes to the family.”
The article originally appeared in Expatica.

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