LGBTI representatives will not converse with referendum organisers

REPRESENTATIVES of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community have decided not to participate in political shows focusing on the referendum on family broadcast by RTVS and TA3 on Sunday, despite the fact that they originally agreed to join in the debate, the SME daily reported on January 16.

“The manner in which the campaign for the referendum is being led precludes a civilised debate in our opinion, as it [the campaign] is resorting only to repeating half-truths and lies that have been disproved multiple times,” reads a statement released by five NGOs. “We don’t want to be a part of this, so we won’t go into direct confrontation with the initiators and supporters of the referendum in the media.”

Anton Chromík of the Family Alliance, the organisation that initiated the referendum, had claimed on January 16 that silence benefits the opponents of the referendum.

“They opted to ignore the referendum and promote this stance,” he said.

Romana Schlesinger, who is a member of both the Queer Leaders Forum and the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party, declared that avoiding the debate is not a tactic. She stressed that she does not view the Family Alliance as an opposite, in view of the fact that the two groups pursue differing goals and would never be able to resolve the issue together.

“By withdrawing from this debate, we sent out a clear message that they’re not partners for debate for us and we're not partners for debate for them,” said Schlesinger.

Blogger and activist Braňo Ondrášik said that he understands this decision, although he doesn't agree with it. According to him, society needs these NGOs.

“I believe that a large number of gays and people who are against the referendum expect to hear their voice, particularly when the Church and alliance operate with half-truths and even outright lies,” Ondrášik said. “I hope that they'll change their opinion.”

Source: Sme

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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