From “metastasis” in 2016 to “human class that has the right to be protected” in 2019: Naira Zohrabyan on LGBT people


Howbeit in 2016 Naira Zohrabyan, a member of the National Assembly of Armenia, when speaking about LGBT people, publicly and openly said: “I will do everything possible to hinder the spread of that metastasis in Armenia”, but few days ago, in January 2019, the election of the Chairman of the RA NA Standing Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs took place, and Naira Zohrabyan was nominated by Prosperous Armenia faction as a candidate.

Member of the My Step faction Lusine Badalyan reminded her about the hate speech rampant in social media and asked her about the awareness raising on human rights in Armenia. Ms. Badalyan’s second question was about LGBT persons’ equal protection by law, which, in reality, is one of the unique cases when such a question is raised in the parliament. Ms. Badalyan particularly said: “You also spoke about conforming o European standards and a little earlier about the misunderstanding of European values (․․․) You also talked about the inconsistency of the national mentality, the European standards and breaking stereotypes. Now in the general context of all of this, I would like to add, that no matter how much we want to avoid, sexual minorities also live in the Republic of Armenia, and they equally have the need to have their rights protected. Will you focus your attention also on that target group?”

Ms. Zohrabyan replied: “(․․․) As for the different minorities, everyone, including the group that you have mentioned, has their rights, and if they will address the commission, we will discuss with you any question, because I repeat that everyone has his/her right,  and everyone has the right to be protected. Thank you.”

Did the political “situation” changed Ms. Zohrabyan and will she, from now on, pursue the full exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms of each citizen that RA Constitution guarantees? In particular, the future work will make it clear what is the real approach of hers on the unconditional implementation of the right to non-discrimination and the right to equality.