The group accuses Alexey Arestovich of being a homophobe for stating that LGBTQ persons are ‘people with deviations’
A Ukrainian LGBTQ group has called for the firing of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s top adviser, Alexey Arestovich, on Tuesday after he stated that he considers queer persons “people with deviations.”
On June 19, Arestovich was asked during a livestream about his opinion about the LGBTQ community. He replied that he holds a conservative view in regard to the movement but treats its members with sympathy.
“I’ve said this before and I won’t hide it: I treat LGBT as people with deviations, meaning deviations from normal behavior. In this sense I am a conservative,” he said, adding that he was “completely against the persecution” of LGBTQ members and that people should always treat each other like people.
The official noted that while he had a “normal attitude” towards the LGBTQ community, he was extremely opposed to “LGBT propaganda” and rejected it completely.
“This is the propaganda of a deviation from the norm, which has very concrete negative effects on society,” said Arestovich. “I do not accept it at all and am a resolute opponent of it,” he added, concluding that he treats LGBTQ people with sympathy.
KyivPride, a Western-backed Ukrainian NGO that fights for LGBTQ rights in Ukraine, slammed Arestovich’s statements, going as far as to allege that he is part of a “homophobic Russian world,” and demanded President Zelensky immediately fire him from his position as the country’s top adviser.
“We call on Zelensky and the Office of the President to remove this person from the post of Councilor. This issue is long overdue in society,” insisted the group, adding that such rhetoric from Kiev authorities was unacceptable if the country actually wanted to be accepted into the EU.
Arestovich also found himself at the center of another social media storm after he stated on Monday that “Ukrainian culture was impressive and fascinating” until “activists were allowed there.” His comments were met with outrage among Ukrainian activists and social figures, who have also called on Zelensky to distance himself from the adviser.