In 2007 on a very hot summer afternoon I was in Timisoara with a friend of mine. We were walking in the beautiful pedestrian area near the National Opera when a young man in a black t-shirt handed me a sheet of paper. I took it, not knowing what it was, and then stopped short as I read it. The flyer was a semi-literate screed against an upcoming gay pride parade in Bucharest and as I turned and looked at the young man’s shirt, I recognized it was emblazoned with the symbol of Romania’s fascist party.
I was quite upset to be given this flyer and my friend kept urging me to calm down and not worry about it. Instead, I ran over to the black-shirted thug, who was standing with a group of his fellow fascists, and began confronting them. Despite the fact that they were four or five healthy young men, they backed down and ran away from me like the cowards they were.
I mention all of this because I just came across this article (Ro) about a billboard that appeared just a few hundred meters from Opera Square.
Even if you don’t speak Romanian, you can click on the link and see it. It has a picture of an infant wearing a hospital style identity bracelet which says “homosexual”. The words on the billboard say, “Sexual orientation is not a choice and is not a disease”.
Timisoara is a rather hard town and putting an ad up like that is akin to waving a red flag at a bull. Everyone and their brother piled in on the “controversy” and had a lot to say. However the key paragraph is here:
Revoltat de aparitia reclamei s-a aratat si deputatul de Timis, Marius Dugulescu. Din functia sa de vicepresedintele al Comisiei pentru drepturile omului, din Camera Deputatilor, Dugulescu a incercat sa sensibilizeze autoritatile sa reactioneze la o astfel de sfidare. Acesta a facut hartii peste hartii atat la Primarie, cat si la Protectia Copilului, insa pana la aceasta ora afisul nu a disparut.
“Eu le recunosc drepturile, insa sa si le tina in spatiul intim nu in spatiul public, in centrul Timisoarei. Eu am ramas stupefiat de acel afis, din care vad un copilas purtand acea inscriptie ca si cand ar avea catuse. In timp ce toti crestinii se sfiintesc si se pregatesc de Paste, aceasta minoritate imprastie mizeriile in spatiul public. Eu nu agreez promovarea de acest gen inaintea praznicului Invierii Mantuitorului”, spune Dugulescu.
Or in my translation:
Also disgusted by the appearance of the advertisement was Timis County Deputy Marius Dugulescu. As a function of being the vicepresident of the Commission on Human Rights in the [national] House of Representatives, Dugulescu tried to bring local [Timisoara] authorities to their senses and respond appropriately to this act of defiance. The people responsible for putting up the billboard have put up similar ads at City Hall as well as the Child Protection Agency and at the time of this writing, the billboard has not been taken down.
“I recognize people’s rights, as long as they keep them to themselves and not out in public in downtown Timisoara. I was completely shocked by this billboard, where you can see a little baby wearing such an inscription on its bracelet, which looks kind of like handcuffs. In this period when all Christians are being blessed and preparing for Easter, this minority is spreading its filth in public spaces. I am not in agreement with advertisements of this sort on the eve of the Resurrection of our Savior,” said Dugulescu.
Nice! And I duly note he is another fun-lovin’ member of the PDL, the party of dog killers, American embassy snitches, unabashed bribe takers, girlfriend apartment givers and overall corruption and stupidity.
Apparently the billboard later got taken down, which Marius Dugulescu proudly boasts about on his Facebook page.
I realize there are some stone cold idiots in Romania, especially in the body politic, but I think the most interesting thing is that apparently the use of a baby in the billboard is what offended them the most. I’ve met a lot of babies in my life but frankly I’ve never seen one who seemed all that interested in sex, homosexual, heterosexual or anything else yet these people freaking out seem to think that a “gay baby” is the greatest threat to public decency in the modern era.
I certainly understand that Timisoara is a very intolerant kind of town, which is probably why they do need to be shaken up a bit by (quite tame, if you ask me) advertisements like this. God knows if they showed two adult men kissing on a billboard there would probably be a riot LOL.
Yeah, I get it, homosexuality bothers some people. It shocked the hell out of me the first time I saw it in a movie. But I can think of a lot of other things that bother me more, including Coca-Cola ads at the Vlad Tepes’ house or cars parked on the sidewalk or asshole journalists or people going hungry so some fat bankers can make a profit.
And of course the overriding hilarious aspect to all this gay panic that regularly occurs in Romania is that every city in the entire country has a statue paying homage to one of the most openly gay empires in history. Yes, the Romans were mighty warriors and built roads and aqueducts that lasted a thousand years but they were also marrying boys and creating words like catamite. You can’t just pick and choose the parts you like LOL.
And isn’t it a little creepy to see two babies sucking on an animal’s teats? How is that okay when a baby wearing a bracelet with the word “homosexual” isn’t okay? If I photographed a real child sucking on a dog’s nipple today I’d be thrown in jail for child abuse and perverted acts with an animal. Sheesh.
Like it or lump it, Romania, you’ve got millions of gay citizens. You better learn to deal with it if you ever want to get into the Schengen Zone and sit at the big boys’ table in the European Union.