‘ARF has No Phobias,’ Says ARF Bureau Member

ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovannesian

YEREVAN—After condemning the fire bomb attack at a local club last week, Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau member and chairman of the party’s parliamentary bloc Vahan Hovannesian said that the “ARF has no phobias,” referring to the attack, which was motivated by homophobia.

The ARF leader explained that discrimination based on race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation has always been a contentious issue. “It is the ARF contention curtailing the rights of civilized people or using force against them is unacceptable.”

“The ARF has always fought against oppression of free will, because oppression of free will or discrimination against any individual endangers the civil harmony and opens the door to external enemies,” said Hovannesian.

The ARF leader forcefully condemned efforts to politicize the situation, saying that elements that are pointing the blame on the party are misguided and are using this incident to further inflame the situation.

ARF Political Affairs Director Giro Manoyan

ARF Political Affairs Director Giro Manoyan also echoed the strong condemnation of the incident and decried efforts to politicize the situation.

In his blog, Manoyan called on all “national, social, democratic, revolutionary and all forces to collectively fight for the Armenian nation’s political, economic social and cultural interests with the aim of resolving the Armenian Cause—Hai Tahd.”

“The perpetrators of this crime must be punished within the letter and spirit of Armenian law. If today their target is the LGBT society, tomorrow it can be anyone else,” said veteran activist and Vice-President of Socialist International Maria Titizian on her Facebook page.

“Sadly, there is much intolerance in Armenian society, not only toward the homosexual community, but towards anyone or any group who deign to hold views that are not widely accepted. I hope that in the coming weeks and months this discourse can move away from its obvious politicization and manifest itself in an honest, open and candid dialogue about the kind of society we want to have, a society where there is respect, tolerance and mutual acceptance,” explained Titizian.

Maria Titizian

“As a long-standing member of the ARF and Vice President of Socialist International, I say with the utmost responsibility that, contrary to the media spin, this is NOT the position of the party that for 122 years has advocated for freedom, justice and equality. Every human being has the inalienable right to live their life as they see fit, without fear or recrimination or alienation from society,” added Titizian.


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  1. Nelli Sargsyan said:

    If the values of ARF are those that you claim, why isn’t the party leadership express any concern over and condemn the dangerously misinformed hate speech of A. Minasyan, an ARF MP to actually demonstrate its commitment to the aforementioned values. Instead, the discussion is moved into the abstract, as though the politicization occurred out of the blue. Why would ARF want a member like Minasyan, a public figure, an MP who feels comfortable to condone violence? And why would there be no self-reflection and criticism?

  2. Tsayt said:

    Excellent, along with political, economic and cultural support that diaspora provides Armenia, it is equally important that diaspora also awakens Armenia and brings backward and prejudicial Armenian thinking to the 21st century.

    Bravo to the people with such correct and healthy condemnation against homophobia we read in the above article.

  3. Onnik K. said:

    Homosexual lifestyle and behaviour should not be encouraged or tolerated in Armenia or Armenian society. Definitely, the end result of tolerance and permissivenes of such a lifestyle would be promoting the homosexual-driven agenda of promoting same-sex unions, an abomination that is gradually promoted in the West. We, Armenians are an eastern and Christian nation, and such lifestyles and behaviour are contrary to our moral values, society and religion.

    • hayrnaser said:

      have you considered the fact that we (some of us original arme’nios) are not eastern at all, and may be not all of us believe in christendoms/church/roman crooks’, manufactured list of moral guidelines (by the way, nothing to do with jesus’ teachings), i am just as conservative as you claim to be, but don’t agree with your spin on what armenia and armenians and their moral codes should be, you like your set of personal lifestyle choices, i like mine, i don’t tell you not to enjoy/marry women, and you should not tell others not to love/marry a member of their own sex, lets’ leave archaic, neanderthal mentalities where they belong, on the pages of history, not in our present day lives, also for the millionth time, armenia belongs to all armenians not just to those who fit in your narrow definition,
      also it is not your obligation to discourage or not tolerate homosexuality in armenia or abroad, if you don’t like it look the other way, i do that with a lot of things i find offensive all day long, 7/24, i don’t own armenia or the world, it is mine as well as yours, as long as you don’t threaten my existence, force your beliefs on me… do as you wish,
      if you want to channel your energy on keeping armenia safe, focus on the organized criminals who are infecting our people with drug dependence and abusing our woman forcing them into prostitution, not to mention selling our country’s irreplaceable natural resources, hence, raping the environment, and let us not ignore the elephant in the room, the mass exodus, (an armenia with no armenians in it…what the turks have been praying for a very long time), and the slow but soon to perish diaspora… those are the real problems threatening our small in size, big at heart, sweeter than honey, fledgling republic, not homosexuality
      blessed be armenia and all the armenians (even the primitive ones)

  4. Nemo the One Legged Captain said:

    You know, I don’t agree or disagree with any comments on this topic. However, one has to realize two points. The first being that you are taking a historically conservative population and trying to push a western ideology that is for the most part, liberal in spirit. Clearly, this is like trying to figure out who would win, an immovable object or a unstoppable force. You need to stop projecting western values onto a population that can’t reconcile their values with such an ideology. On one hand, yes, as an American I find it distasteful that anyone would try to attack another person for their sexual orientation or political beliefs. However, on the other hand, these folks are dealing with so many problems. I don’t think it is wise to stir up more tension by trying to force extreme change so quickly. You have to let population gradually accept what they are comfortable with as a society. Again, this goes back to the “Diaspora mentality”. Clearly, capitalism is a construct that is mutually exclusive to social values. Even if you are liberal or conservative, you must obey the law of the land. Property rights must be upheld. Now, going a step further and trying to impose western values on a population with very traditional views, again, becomes a powder keg ready to explode or be exploited by political or economic rivals.

    • Christo said:

      And you thought the 40 million dollars earmarked to Armenia was aid money? Your tax dollars at work through NGO’s.

  5. Onnik K. said:

    Mr. Hovannesian, the issue is not about suffering from “Homophobia” as those who try to label those who oppose homosexual behaviour and lifestyle call it, but it is an issue of guarding out national values, morality, and society. This being said, there should be no physical assaults conducted against people advocating such lifestyles, but it should be outlawed regardless what the EU or the West would bark against such procedures; let them keep their own garbage for themselves; we have no need of them!

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