Lukashenko said he would not ban a gay pride parade

Submitted by Viachaslau Bortnik

Aleksandr Lukashenkо said Friday that he did not accept homosexuality and had told German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle about that while meeting with him ahead of last December’s presidential election in Belarus.

Mr. Westerwelle took offense and still bears a grudge, the Belarusian leader told a group of Russian reporters in Minsk.

He said that he regretted having revealed his negative attitude toward gay couples at the meeting with the German minister, who is openly gay.

Mr. Westerwelle met with Mr. Lukashenko together with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski to offer Belarus financial assistance in exchange of a democratic election.

"Sikorski asked me, ‘What attitude do you, Alexandr Ryhoravich, have toward gay couples?’ I suggested that if they are female, we, men, are to be blame. Women doing this with women are pardonable. They can be tolerated. But if they are male, it is a horror.”

Mr. Lukashenko said that he added that he would not ban a gay pride parade but would tell its organizers to hold in the suburbs "to show people everything.” "I said it with a jeer,” he noted.

"I did not want to offend him,” the Belarusian leader said, speaking of the German minister. "Let him go ahead, if he likes this or if this is accepted there. But it is beyond understanding to me like, perhaps, for many others present here.”

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