Go praise LGBTI people somewhere else: Armen Rustamyan

Head of the ARF fraction Armen Rustamyan was not letting the LGBTnews.am reporter finish their questions and was constantly interrupting.

Mr. Rustamyan, in the summer ARF signed a memorandum with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats of the European Parliament Group, agreeing to promote an anti-discrimination law that is in accordance with international standards. International standards stipulate ending discrimination not only against certain groups, but also against LGBTI people…

There is no such thing in our agreement. There is the issue of discrimination—we should not allow discrimination to take place, but there is no such thing.

In your opinion, LGBTI people…

We are a nation with character. We have the Constitution, were it is clearly stated that a man and a woman…If we follow your logic, a man should marry a man… I think there are two genders, not six.

Don’t you think your approach is already discriminatory in itself against LGBTI people?

No, discrimination is turning the two into a six. There are two genders, not six. There can’t be sixteen or thirty-two genders.

Can the fact that part of the society, including yourself, believes that “there are two genders,” give the government a right to discriminate against LGBTI people and not allow them to exercise equal rights, including the right to marry?

We stipulated through the Constitution that a man should marry a woman.

The Constitution does not forbid same-sex marriages. That which is not forbidden by law is permitted.

No, the Constitution clearly states who marries whom.

Mr. Rustamyan, after the explosion of the DIY club, ARF’s assessments were divided into two categories…

The ARF has not been divided and it has always operated clearly. We respect human rights, but they shouldn’t impose their beliefs on us. One’s freedom ends where others’ rights begin.

How are LGBTI marriages going to limit your rights?

Go praise LGBTI people somewhere else.

I am not trying to praise anyone. I would like to clarify the stance of the head of the ARF on the rights of a specific group in the society—LGBTI people.

And what do you want to clarify?

How does the recognition of LGBTI rights restrict your own rights?

It doesn’t restrict my rights. I have my own set of values and I live by them. Someone else has different set of values. They should not impose their values on me.

They are not imposing. All they want is to have equal rights with the other Armenian citizens, including the right to marry. They don’t want to be discriminated against. Is equality not important to you?

Families are meant for procreation.

Does this imply that families that do not want to or are not able to have children, cannot be considered families?

Generations should grow and multiply, and such families do not contribute to procreation. With regard to infertility, it is a disease. LGBTI people are biologically not capable of procreating—humanity does not multiply through them.

Mr. Rustamyan, Armenia has assumed various international obligations to protect the rights of LGBTI people…

You are not here for an interrogation, but for an interview. Don’t confuse these two. You won’t be able to get anything out of me. I respect everyone’s rights.

We conduct interviews with all the MPs to clarify their positions and actions regarding the LGBTI rights…

The interview is over.

Do you think Armenia should ignore its international obligations? 

I told you it’s over! The interview is over!