Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Juan Pablo Galavis (aka “The Bachelor”) all said something false and offensive about lesbians and gay men last week that made me wonder if they had lost their minds.
Explaining why Museveni didn’t sign the “aggravated homosexuality” bill that requires life in prison for gays in Uganda, his spokesperson said Friday, “There was no quorum, and homosexuals are sick people who need help.” Yeah, okay.
Asked Friday about his nation’s attitude toward gays during a question-and-answer session with Sochi Olympics volunteers, Putin said, “One can feel calm and at ease. Just leave kids alone, please.” In an interview that same day with foreign television reporters, including George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, Putin pooh-poohed criticism that the law banning “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” is discriminatory.
“It seems to me that the law that we have adopted does not hurt anyone,” he said. “Moreover, individuals of non-traditional orientation cannot feel like second-rate humans in this country because they are not discriminated against in any way.” Yeah, okay.
And Galavis was promoting his participation in that mockery of the seriousness of marriage known as “The Bachelor” when he let rip his choice view of gay men. When asked by theTVPage.com if there should be a gay or bisexual “Bachelor,” the former Venezuelan soccer star and first “Bachelor” of color explained his “no” answer this way: “I respect [gay people] but, honestly, I don’t think it’s a good example for kids to watch that on TV.” Galavis then added, “And there is this thing about gay people — it seems to me, I don’t know if I’m mistaken or not — I have a lot of friends like that, but they’re more pervert in a sense. And to me the show will be too strong, too hard to watch on TV.”
To be fair, Galavis did apologize. But his Facebook mea culpa had the weaselly “I may have offended” clause. For good measure, he threw in “The comment was taken out of context” cover. And then he blamed his English. “Everyone knows English is my second language and my vocabulary is not as broad as it is in Spanish and, because of this, sometimes I use the wrong words to express myself,” he wrote. Yeah, okay.
Lesbians and gay men are not “sick people who need help.” They are not after children. And they are not “more pervert.” They are people who need to live free of state-sanctioned discrimination, persecution and prosecution. And they could also stand to live without the judgment of someone who perverts the quest for love and the commitment of marriage by seeking it in front of a television audience.
Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj