In a TV interview, Czech President Milos Zeman said he finds transgender people “disgusting,” as he showed support for the controversial new Hungarian law banning “display and promotion” of homosexuality to minors.
Speaking with CNN Prima News, Zeman defended Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whose recently enacted law that bans LGBTQ+ references in educational materials and programs for minors have already been condemned by 17 countries in the European Union.
“I do not see a reason not to agree with him (Orban),” said Zeman, who criticized feminist activists, the Me Too movement and the Prague Pride in the same interview.
He also added that the other European countries—including Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, and Luxembourg—“should not interfere in the affairs of Hungary.”
“I can understand gays, lesbians and so on,” Zeman said.
“But do you know who I do not understand at all? These transgender people,” he told the CNN affiliate. “If someone undergoes a sex-change operation, he commits a crime of self-harm.”
Zeman added, “Every operation is a risk. And to me, these transgender people are utterly disgusting.”
The Czech President also mentioned in the interview that if he were younger, he would have organized a heterosexual parade in Prague, claiming it would have been attended by "millions" of people.
Following Zeman’s interview, Prague Pride group’s Daniel Zikmund told Czech News Agency that the President’s statement has a significant impact on the mental health of the members of the LGBTQ+ community.
in a transphobic row, the Czech President Zeman supported the actions of Viktor Orban and said that if he were younger, he would organize a heterosexual parade. ? https://t.co/H9SxVCoCRJ— Kryštof Stupka ???️? (@krystofstupka) June 27, 2021
Zikmund also noted that LGBTQ+ people are already being discriminated against in general, but transgender people face more inequality and discrimination. He also said that Zeman’s comments only add fuel to the fire of hatred.
Some Czechs took to social media to blast Zeman for his “transphobic comments.” One Twitter user also criticized the host who interviewed Zeman for not calling out the President during the interview.
“It’s outrageous that the anchor from @CNNPrima the partner of @cnni has not refuted the president’s transphobic claims in which he said that trans people disgust him and that they ‘commit the crime of self-harm,” tweeted @krystofstupka.
Another twitter user said of Zeman, “I’ve never seen a more spiteful person. Even (Viktor) Orban disguised his hatred behind ‘we need to protect children,’ but Zeman is just openly bigoted. This is not acceptable for any president.”
Zeman’s comments came as the Pride Month is being widely celebrated worldwide. In Czech Republic, its annual Prague Pride is celebrated every August since 2011.
Banner photo from Czech News Agency