Mikayel Melkumyan, MP from “Prosperous Armenia” faction of the National Assembly, recalled about the international commitments undertaken by Armenia in the field of human rights until the question on LGBTI persons’ rights.
The Q&A with Melkumyan is presented below.
-Mr. Melkumyan, do you see a need to adopt anti-discriminatory law in Armenia?
It is a fact that our society needs further democratization. If I say that the differences between the city and the village have been eliminated, it is not so, that we are very radical and not democratic – no, and if I say that we have racist attitudes, it is not so as well. We, Armenians, are law-abiding in this sense, and we do not have such bloody things.
If I say what attitude, I have towards different sects and sexual minorities… Having certain values, I have a solid position. It is necessary to make a serious analysis and understand whether there is a need for such a law or not. Alternatively, we’ll adopt a law with good intentions, but it’ll become a dead, inactive law. The law must be based on public demand real assessment. That is, if we see that there is a serious need for such a law, then we should have it, and if there is not a need… It needs serious sociological, psychological and anthropological analyzes. Until we don’t have these all, we cannot say. If I say that at this moment I see a very serious need for such a low… I have no definite answer.
–You mentioned that you have a solid position on “sects, sexual minorities”.
–Yes, of course, my position on different sects is tough.
–As an MP do you express it, and if so, how do you express your tough attitude towards these people?
–Everyone is equal before the law. I am against the fact that some people are not serving in the army due to some sectarian affiliation. I am a law-abiding person, but I can have negative attitude towards some people, and that does not mean that you should go and beat them, for example.
–You have more commitments on yourself as MP. You must protect the rights of those persons.
–I can have unacceptable attitudes towards different things, but that does not mean that I have to harshly express about them. It’s clear that we are all equal before the law and must keep the law. We have different international commitments. In other words, as civilized individuals, we should maintain the form from outside, but naturally, we have many unacceptable things inside, it is the personal opinion of each person.
–Mostly LGBTI persons face discrimination.
–Let’s not focus on those persons. What I’ve already said, is enough.
–Discrimination against these persons is expressed in the highest level.
–I do not answer questions on this topic.
–In your opinion, should LGBTI persons have the right to marry equally with other Armenian citizens?
–Uf-uf, uf-uf. I say that I have a very negative attitude towards that phenomenon.
–In other words, can I assume that LGBT people, according to you, should not have the right to marry?
–I’ve already told that I have a negative attitude towards that phenomenon. I won’t show the cards. Very negative, that’s all.
–So, isn’t this a discriminatory attitude towards theses persons?
–Let it be expressed, there is no problem.
–In that case, why do we develop anti-discriminatory law if we have deputies in the National Assembly, who have discriminatory attitude towards this or that group, if, as you have just said, there is no problem in showing discrimination.
–I say that as an individual I refuse these phenomena, but if the law gives them the right to do something, let them do it.
–You are a deputy and you adopt the laws. As a deputy, how will you deal with the bills ensuring the realization of the rights of LGBT people?
–I should get acquainted with the bill first. We are finished, stop; I won’t answer any other questions.