‘Under the Blanket’ with Anatol Liabiedzka: this is everyone’s concern
The ‘Under the Blanket’ interviewee is worthy of being the leader of the United Civic Party. He really stands for implementation of civil rights, including gay-parades, though he criticizes LGBT community for being sluggish.
Anatol Liabiedzka, Chairperson of United Civil Party of Belarus
— In your opinion, is there any LGBT- problem in Belarus?
I don’t see any peculiarities for any particular groups here, as it’s just impossible to live in the authoritarian state and not to have any groups of citizens whose rights and liberties would be violated. Monopolization of authority means that only a small group of people have their rights fulfilled, but all the other members of the society don’t. I wouldn’t say that the representatives of sexual minorities have more problems than political prisoners or political activists. We should solve the problem of democracy in Belarus, and then the problems of violation women’s rights violation, their children’s rights, and the government opponents’ rights will be solved. It is not a problem of a small particular group of people. It is a problem of all the people with their own opinion, views, and self-respect.
— Have you noticed any disrespect in relation to representatives of sexual minorities on the grass-root level? Or have you had such cases in your party?
We’ve never had to defend our party members for this reason, and I just don’t know about such cases.
— So, is it an artificial problem, in your opinion?
Well, it would be wrong to say that they have worse conditions here than the others. For instance, we have applied for 250 pickets, and none of our applications were satisfied. So what? How can we define who’s got worse conditions in our situation? Everyone’s equal. We file about 200 applications a year, and the result is just the same. They applied a couple of times to get permission for the gay-parade and failed. So what? What does it mean?
— Some politicians consider gay-parades to be propaganda?
I don’t. If they don’t violate public order and comply with all the necessary requirements, then why not?