Separation of any group is wrong. “Elq” alliance representative Alen Simonyan

Alen Simonyan – MP candidate by “Elq” alliance list, presented the position of the alliance on discrimination issue and LGBTI people rights to LGBTnews.

Mister Simonyan, studying pre-electoral program of “Elq” alliance, it becomes clear that your political unit defends equal rights of citizens and is willing to take measures to prevent discrimination in Armenia. I assume that while writing the program you should have examined whether there are a lot of things to be done in this sector, and if yes, then specifically in which fields?

– Yes, it’s noticeable that in our program we highlight human rights and freedoms taking account the fact that the main problems in our country are closely related to human rights and freedoms. Segregation of any group is wrong for me, because the mentioned and the position of the alliance relates to all groups without any discrimination.

In your pre-electoral program people with disabilities are separated and marked from groups with specific needs.

– Yes, you are right, because there are two persons with disabilities among the first 10-15 places of our party list, and I think this is the reason that it’s a little more enhanced and detailed written: we can say, that in this regard they have done their job well, but I repeat that segregation shouldn’t be done. We always say that for us human rights is a priority and separation of any group is not right. Maybe we made a mistake not to mention everything on turn, but, in that case, the program would be more extensive, and studying it would be more problematic for everyone, including you.

– In response to questions of “Partnership for Open society” initiative addressed to all the political parties participating in the elections of the National Assembly, “Elq” answered that they support the idea that homosexuals have the same  rights as the other citizens. If you have written about at least one group with specific needs, don’t you think that it’s also  worth anyhow mentioning LGBTI people rights taking account the fact that LGBTI persons are the most vulnerable group of the society?

– I repeat that I don’t want to segregate groups out. Homosexuals should have the same rights – what does it mean? Why are we discussing this? It’s not even a matter of discussion. I repeat that human rights and freedoms are for all regardless of gender, religion and all other circumstances. Maybe this would be misunderstood among some segments and even make some trouble, anyway, I continue repeating that people have equal rights, regardless of anything.

Your words imply that the alliance is ready to come up with legislative initiatives on the rights of LGBTI persons or to vote for bills on LGBTI persons rights, for example marriage, child adoption and other issues.

– I can not answer on behalf of “Elq”, moreover, we haven’t discussed specifically that issue, but generally I can say, that our activity is based on human rights and fundamental principles, and be sure that regardless of people’s attitudes, we will act as we consider right.

LGBTI community actively discusses the issue of conducting “Pride Parades” in Armenia. If such events are organized as a sign of solidarity, will your alliance members participate?

– But why would a political party participate in LGBTI parade, and why do you ask me this question before the vote?

Because the number of LGBTI voters in Armenia is about 120 thousand, and it is logical that these people need to know the exact position of the political parties participating in the elections on their problems in order to make clear from whom and what to expect.

– But I gave a comprehensive reply. I think that these people made their choice long ago. Well, you know, questions whether LGBTI parades will be held or not, and if they want to adopt a child would you agree or not… I said already, the answer to all questions is one: human rights have prior value and are not a subject of discussion. This would be expressed in terms of marriage or, I don’t know, maybe adopting a child or another fact, it’s not essential.

See, in interviews with us, many people say, that they are for equal rights, human rights protection, equality and so on, but when it comes to specifying these rights and bringing particular examples, suddenly it turns out that they are not ready to accept those rights, avoid answers and so on. Making the questions more concrete is important because of this.

– For me there are two principles: law and right. As for marriages or other rights, we have not discussed this issue, but whatever happens, we have to look at it from the perspective that human rights should not be violated. I should also mention that if same-sex marriages are not allowed in any country, it does not mean that there are no human rights in these countries. There are many democratic countries where same-sex marriages are not accepted.

–This just proves that these countries are not yet fully adjusted their legislation to the concept of human rights.

–It’s your evaluation. The public decides what will be good for him. As a citizen and a politician, I say that a person and his/her rights are priorities for me.