“LGBT Activist’’, “Sexist Statement”. The dispute among Nikol Pashinyan and Vigen Sargsyan

During the debate of the first faces of the political parties contesting the parliamentary elections to be held on December 9, Vigen Sargsyan, leading the RPA pre-electoral list, posed a question to Nikol Pashinyan, the acting Prime Minister of Armenia and the leader of “My Stepalliance, about the LGBT people which was being broadcasted live on Armenian PublicTV.

Sargsyan specifically told, “We have a situation when two prominent LGBT activists are involved in the ruling party’s fund, which is engaged in financing’’ and asked, whether Pashinyan has any commitment in respect of these activists. Sargsyan also asked whether national values are more important than democratic liberalism.

In response, Pashinyan mentioned that national values in the Republic of Armenia have always been and will be important.

As for the members of our “Civil Contract’s” Board of Trustees, they are citizens of the Republic of Armenia. A person about whom you are spreading to be an activist is a mother of four children, a mother of an Armenian traditional family, and I want to say that for the first time the list of high-ranking officials with other sexual orientation has been published in the Republic of Armenia during your tenure. You are a person involved in those authorites, and a number of well-known members of your government are known as LGBT community representatives,said Nikol Pashinyan.

Vigen Sargsyan described Pashinyan’s speech as a “sexist statement”.

LGBT community has all the rights as the rest. A person should not be judged by his/her orientation; you just divideed the citizens into categories,” said Sargsyan and continued, repeating the question whether Pashinyan has a commitment in respect of LGBT community.

A person has the right to do what he wants behind his/her closed door. I am against sexual parads in general no matter it is a homosexual or heterosexual one. I consider that the child should not see it while walking the streets, the Armenian child should not see it,” added Vigen Sargsyan.

In response Pushinyan, in his own words using syllogism comprehended that Vigen Sargsyan is a LGBT activist. 

There is sillogism. Vigen Sargsyan said that LGBT community representatives have the same rights as all the other citizens of Armenia. You have heared. The people he mentioned, those women say the same thing as Vigen Sargsyan. Vigen Sargsyan names these women as LGBT activists for what he just said; thereforeVigen Sargsyan is also a LGBT activist. This is a very simple logical chain,” said Pashinyan and stated that he had no commitement to any separate community that he has an obligation before the citizens of Armenia, and he had publicly announced about these commitments.

Pashinyan added that he needed to record Vigen Sargsyan’s “being an activist and activism direction” which, according to him, was important for the ongoing debate.

It is noteworthy that the representatives of other political forces participating in the debate had the opportunity to respond and to address the issue during the discussion, but did not use that opportunity. 

Lilit Lalayan