Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko responded to criticism of his authoritarian governing style by saying he would “rather be a dictator than gay,” which appeared to be a thinly veiled reference to gay German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle.
Bloomberg reports that Lukashenko made the comment to reporters Sunday outside Minsk. He seemed to be responding to Westerwelle, who recently called his government the “last dictatorship in Europe” after Belarus recalled its permanent envoy to the European Union and ambassador to Poland in response to heightened E.U. sanctions. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice Lukashenko had also criticized Belarus for being a “dictatorship.”
Steffen Seibert, the chief spokesman for the German government, responded to Lukashenko Monday by saying, “It’s interesting in one sense that Lukashenko should consider himself a dictator, a conclusion the German government reached long ago — and the Belarusian president provides proof of its accuracy on a daily basis.”
Lukashenko previously made homophobic comments to Westerwelle. Last year he apologized for having told the German foreign minister in a meeting that he should “lead a normal life.”
by Julie Bolcer
Source – The Advocate