LGBTnews continues the series of interviews with MPs of the Natinal Assembly to find out their position on LGBTI rights. This time our interlocutor is Suren Manukyan, ARF faction MP.
-Mr Manukyan, in your opinion, are there many manifestations of discrimination in Armenia? Is there discrimination based on any ground that worries you the most?
– I’m not aware of such issues at all, that somebody be discriminated against.
-You are an MP, hasn’t any citizen ever applied to you stating that he/she has been discriminated against?
– When I communicate with people as an MP, there is no such a discriminatory attitude towards them. I treat everyone the same way, and I am not aware whether there is discrimination in other spheres or not, nobody has ever applied to me for such kind of issues.
-In your opinion, is it necessary to ensure equal conditions for all citizens regardless of any circumstances?
-That is the requirement of the Armenian Constitution.
-And does the Republic of Armenia provide conditions for people to realize their Constitutional rights?
– I cannot confidently say that it provides in a hundred percent, but steps will be taken, are being taken and such issues are being regulated over time. There is no complete equality in any developed country.
– LGBT people are probably the most discriminated group in Armenia. Are you ready to protect their rights?
-Our nation is not ready to accept homosexual people “normally”.
-Do you, as an MP, accept them “normally” or not?
– Of course not!
– In other words, it can be assumed that if there is a draft law on the realization of their rights in the National Assembly, let’s suppose on the same-sex marriages, are you going to vote against?
-At the moment, I cannot say whether I will vote for or against, when such discussion take place, I will make my decision.
– But, at the moment, you are not ready to accept them, as you said “normally”…
-It is possible that we vote for and vote against as well.
-You say that you do not accept homosexual people “normally”. Do you think you have any advantage over LGBTI persons?
-Do you mean from the legal perspective?
-From any perspective!
– From the legal point of view, the Constitution also says that people are equal.
– And from what perspective do you have an advantage?
-Well, you ask from the legal perspective, I answer from the same one. I will not say anything else.