That certain someone was Hayk Babukhanyan, or “babakh” (there are different variations of his nickname). In a press conference, reflecting the outcome of presidential election, this guy claimed those who voted for Raffi are “gays or ignorant” people. That’s around 37% of voters, even if we take official figures. True, there are different versions of the exact wording he used (here and here) but the essence is the same. All was done to play homophobia card against Raffi.
As I said repeatedly in past, although I disagree with Raffi on number of internal and foreign issues, currently he is my favourite Armenian politician (compared to others in public view). I also respect immensely his post-DIY stance, when he came out in support, even though it was obvious this would not be in line with the majority of average voters and in defiance with the prevalent anti-gay hysteria. I will never forget his stance.
Back to “babakh”. His attempt backfired spectacularly and generated backlash against himself on and offline (examples: here and here) and all over Facebook. Of course, many of the comments were not particularly gay friendly, but it was hilarious to see how this homophobic politician’s statement resulted in a totally unintended consequences against himself. Unsurprisingly, his own party (very small one, supporter of ruling Republican party) issued a statement denying that such claims have been made. Too late, “babakh”. Too late.
But forget “babakh”. He does not deserve much attention. What is the most important aspect in all this story is Raffi’s response to him and people like him.
In an interview with Kenton TV popular “Urvagits” programme, Raffi hit back at attacks on minority groups (from 30.00 mins - see video below):
“All Armenian citizens have the same protection under the Constitution.“
“We need a constitutional state, where everyone's interests and rights are protected, and whoever violates against any group, minority or majority, will answer before the law, including those dear gentlemen”.
«Բոլոր հայերը, հայաստանցիները Սահմանադրության տակ ունեն միևնույն պաշտպանվածությունը: Եվ ով այդպես խոսում է ուրիշների մասին, իմ կարծիքով մեծ խնդիրներ ունի որպես հայ մարդ, որպես հայաստանցի: Մեզ պետք չէ կեղծ ազգայնականություն, ո՛չ էլ կեղծ ազատականություն: Մեզ պետք է սահմանադրական պետություն, որտեղ բոլորի շահերը, իրավունքները պաշտպանված են: Եվ ով ձեռք բարձրացնի որևէ խմբի նկատմամբ՝ փոքրամասնություն թե մեծամասնություն, ինքը պատասխան կտա օրենքի առջև, այդ թվում այդ հարգելի պարոնայք»:Raffi is an exceptional politician for Armenia. I may not agree with everything he says but he has guts to stand up for human rights.