Friday, July 22, 2005

The Ayotollah of Transport, a short note

Only in Latvia can the Minister of Transport, Ainars Slesers, whose mandate has little or nothing to do with public order in municipalities or government policy on sexual minorities, pull off such a fuckwitted move as endorsing the Riga city manager's ban on a previously permitted gay and lesbian parade in the Riga Old Town scheduled for Saturday, July 23. Slesers says he is pleased with the ban and links it to an effort to prevent Latvia from being a destination for "sex tourism" and "homosexual recreation" - whatever the latter means. I suspect it means no gays playing golf at Ozo's Golf Course? No gay anglers fishing in the Gauja? What, exactly?
Besides roads and telecommunications, the Ministry has some kind of mandate to improve tourism to Latvia, and Slesers has done his part by encourage low-cost airlines and the like. But now it seems, according to his statement, that Ryanair and Easyjet should only be flying heterosexual tourists who intend to make pilgrimages to Aglona and go birdwatching in Latvian marshes?
I do not doubt that Ainars Slesers in his private is a good and pious traditional family man and one should respect these virtues. It is quite another thing when he makes statements that shift Latvia's position closer to Iran than to Europe on the government attitude scale. From minister he has become the Ayotollah of Transport.
The 10 % of the population being gay rule-of-thumb applies to the telecommunications and IT field as well, and Slesers is essentially saying that gay specialists, whose sexual orientation has nothing to do with their technical, financial, marketing or other skills, should be warned that Latvia is a prejudiced and homophobic country (and racist, to boot, the attitudes go hand in hand).
This is not a social comment or political blog, but this time I make an exception.


Anonymous said...

Great thoughts, great article. Thank you!

Although I do not represend sexual minorities myself, I feel disgust about the way our politicians act. Obviously, they haven't read the Constitution. And they don't know what democracy and freedom truly means.

I believe MP Kalvitis should resign because of his unaceptable and 100% false statements in public.

Someone who cares about our society

mxz said...

This blogger became a little dissapointed with his fellow citizens after hearing about the siege of Old Riga that took place that day. Maybe 'Jaunais Laiks' saw it coming, maybe they felt certain groups would go on a 'witch hunt' if the event took place. Maybe they were right. Maybe the whole protest thing itself did more harm to the society than the actual fact of it being a *gay* parade. What's the big deal anyway - a bunch of gay people wearing funny colorful clothes go for a walk, smiling, waving and singing. But nooo.

"Policija, pildot valsts pārvaldes struktūrās ieperinājušos homoseksuālistu lobiju politisko pasūtījumu, nevis aizsargāja sabiedrību no netikļiem un bezdievjiem, bet lietoja rupju spēku pret tiem pašaizliedzīgajiem cilvēkiem, kas nostājās Dieva doto morāles vērtību un sabiedrības interešu sardzē." -- from

Look at all that clever vocabulary. I'm not even sure what half of it means. Am I the only one who's quietly saying "oh puhhh-lease, get a life, you protest-whores, society-junkies, protectors of life, the universe and everything, you"? :)

PS. Sorry for the long comment, had to get it out.

Taurs said...

The Latvian nation is fully entitled to protest against gayification of Latvia, despite those fashionable and patronising "recommendations" (teachings? ideologies?) that are energetically imported to here from the Anglosphere/EU.

Juris Kaža said...

This is not the forum to discuss this at any length. However, my point is that a society cannot be gayified, it can only decide to accept and co-exist with gay people. Being or not being gay is not consciously decided, therefore there cannot be "recruits" for being gay as there can be for a political party, religion or a certain sport. So we are not under threat from gayification, I believe. Of course, there are matters of art and fashion where some people see "gay" influences, but buying a shirt color that may have been "gay" last year is not a signal of changing sexual orientation.

Normunds said...

A fuckload (in your own words) of manipulative words. Are you gay or just trying to find something to do in this life?

Juris Kaža said...

No, I am not gay, Normund. Ever hear of freedom of speech and assembly? Probably not...