German Politician Equates Homosexuality with Pedophilia, Gets Pushback

Saturday September 26, 2020

Friedrich Merz
Friedrich Merz  (Source:Associated Press)

A German politician is expressing regrets for remarks he made last weekend that were construed as homophobic when asked about the possibility of a LGBTQ candidate could replace Chancellor Angela Merkel, reports the German media company Deutsche Welle.

Friedrich Merz, a candidate for the position of chair of the center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), was asked whether he would have reservations if a gay chancellor were to lead Germany.

"No," he replied. "Concerning the question of sexual orientation, as long as it is within the law and does not affect children — which at this point, for me, would be an absolute limit — it is not an issue for public discussion."

His remarks were criticized "because it made an association between being gay and pedophilia," writes DW.com.

Merz told the news portal t-online that his statement was "obviously misunderstood" and if anyone was offended, "I really regret it very much."

But he added, that there was "naturally malice at work," and that criticism of him was "overdone."

Amongst his critics was one of his rivals for the position of CDU chair, Health Minister Jens Spahn, who is openly gay. Spahn told a reporter: "If the first things you associate with homosexuality are questions of law and pedophilia, then you should rather direct your questions to Friedrich Merz."

Another gay politician, deputy chair of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), Kevin Kühnert tweeted: "This is how someone works who cannot hide the fact that he cannot deal with the normalization of homosexuality."

"Friday's backhanded apology was Merz' third attempt to qualify his comments," adds DW.com. First on Monday in an interview with Die Welt, he said his connection between homosexuality and pedophilia was"maliciously constructed." Adding he would "continue to say this in the future, even when clearly one or another person doesn't like it."

In a tweet later on Monday, Merz went further, saying: "I do not evaluate anyone in my work environment or among my friends and acquaintances on the basis of their sexual orientation. This is a private matter. In a liberal society, there are different ways of life."

Comments on Facebook