LGBTnews spoke with “Congress” ANP representative and Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s spokesman Arman Musinyan on LGBTI people’s rights.
– Mr Musinyan, pre-electoral slogan of your campaign – “Peace, reconciliation, neighborliness”, is only discussed within the context of Nagorno-Kharabakh conflict, while these ideas are wider. Is your alliance commonly the bearer of these ideas not only in terms of Kharabakh issue but also in a broader sense?
– If we look from this perspective, then we can say that the only way to establish peace and neighborliness is building a legitimate country. The Armenian National Congress has never deviated from the spirit and the letter of the law in its activity, and therefore we have made the biggest contribution in Armenia for peace, reconciliation and good neighborliness. That question should be directed to that powers who were busy violating the Law, sowing hatred and violating human rights during that period. I think it would be interesting to hear their answers on these issues.
– You actually highlight legal state building. During the discussions on establishing human rights and legality, has your alliance discussed the topic of discrimination based on any circumstances?
– If we are one of that faithful parties, whose efforts are directed towards putting the Law into action, then, of course, in legal country discrimination cases decrease by 99 %. There might be Laws, which somehow contain discrimination. They must be changed. Surely, we are against discrimination.
– Do you report that there is discrimination against LGBTI people in Armenia?
–I have not studied that issue, but if this occurs in such democratic countries as France, Norway, England, then I assume that it is even more in Armenia. I think that Armenian law implementing bodies must do everything to eliminate the discrimination.
–In case of being elected to the National Assembly, what steps will your alliance carry out in order to ensure equal realization of marriage, child adoption and other rights?
– We haven’t discussed that question. Let the elections be held – at that time.
– Hasn’t your alliance been interested in LGBTI people rights?
– The fact is that we haven’t discussed it, and now you conclude from it, that we are not interested? It is not so.
– According to the academic literature data, LGBTI persons make up about 5 percent of the societies. Adapting that number to the official voters number in Armenia, we can assume that that we are talking about approximately 120 thousand Armenian citizens…
– You are already talking about political conjecture and motivation. Meanwhile, I think, that this is a human rights and not pleasing the voters issue. Currently we have not discussed what agenda we will have after being elected to the National Assembly.
– This is not the first time you might have seats in the National Assembly. Thus, this means, that being in politics for so many years, you haven’t ever been interested in LGBTI persons rights?
– I assume that, maybe there have been cases when we referred to this. I don’t remember now. We say that we are a liberal party and are against discrimination.
– See, in the interviews with us National Assembly ANC faction member Aram Manukyan, in response to questions on LGBTI people rights mostly avoided to answer, and an experienced lawyer Gagik Jahangiryan answered, that he is not informed enough from this sphere, although our questions were from the legal field. You also say that you have not studied the issue. Isn’t this already an approach of the political unit to say nothing definitely on LGBTI people’s rights?
– I say, that we haven’t discussed our further agenda in case of being elected to the National Assembly. Now we are only concentrated on the upcoming elections.
– This is also a part of the elections. You took the mentioning of LGBTI people’s number to the field of conjecture, but the problem is not in pleasing: for about 120 thousand voters should have to decide whom to vote in order to be protected.
– We have come to this election for one issue: peace, reconciliation and neighborliness.
– These ideas themselves imply tolerance and equality.
– Anything could be understood within these concepts, but we have come by the agenda of Nagorno-Kharabakh issue.
–Now anti-discrimination law is being drafted. According to you, through it would the discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation be eliminated?
– I am a democrat, and I don’t want any discrimination, but now I’m not familiar with that document.