UPDATE 29 April 2011: VO.X frontrunner Aram Rian has re-edited and replaced the controversial portion of the band’s "I Love Armenia" music video, by removing the reference to homosexuality as “perversion”. We have reached a mutual understanding with the group and consider this matter resolved as dialogue has taken place. We no longer have reason to believe either Aram Rian or VO.X is homophobic, and we wish them success in their future endeavors.
On 2 March 2011, Armenian music band VO.X issued “official disclaimer statement” re their music video “I love Armenia”. To remind: when the video was released last year, it sparked outrage among gay and (many) straight Armenians, because of its pretty direct homophobic message, and calls to boycott the band.
You may read VO.X statement in full below. For now, I do not want to comment on it myself. I would let you to be the judges re: whether VO.X statement is satisfactory and whether it “settles the matter once and for all”?
Background to the story:
Homophobic music video by Armenian band VO.X disguised under "progressive ideas"
Armenian music band VO.X on PR defensive to 'justify' homophobia
(also related) Outrage as Armenia Fund Telethon promotes homophobia
OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER STATEMENT. RE: MUSIC VIDEO "I LOVE ARMENIA"
March 2nd, 2011
To Whom It May Concern
I hereby state that, based on Biblical principles, I personally hold the belief that Christianity and homosexuality cannot be viewed as reconcilable phenomena (This approach was reflected within the context of my music video "I Love Armenia", which spoke of cherishing Christian values in traditional Christian Armenia).
Nonetheless, by no means does that imply that I have ever intended to promote homophobia or hate towards sexual minorities through my musical career.
According to a commonly known definition (also stated by Wikipedia), "the term 'homophobia' is often used inaccurately to describe any person who objects to homosexual behaviour on either moral, psychological or medical grounds. Technically, however, the term actually denotes a person who has a phobia – or irrational fear – of homosexuality. Principled disagreement, therefore, cannot be labeled 'homophobia'." My case is that of objection on moral grounds. Hence, I cannot be viewed as a homophobe, because, in fact, I am not.
Being a human rights defender by nature and generally a peaceful tolerant person with a pacifist world view, I would never deliberately offend or discriminate any person or a group of people. Nor would I ever cross the boundaries, set by the amount of freedom of speech and expression assigned to me as an individual.
Therefore, if it ever appeared that I was willingly offending a specific category of people through my musical activities, I can sincerely assure the persons concerned that I had never been driven by such a motive.
I sincerely regret that it all led to certain forms of misconception, I regret that people were offended by the above-mentioned video and I truly wish to settle the matter once and for all.