Chilean deputy's 'homophobic' comment on Facebook causes controversy

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Screenshot of Enrique Estay's Facebook status and some of the comments.

A "homophobic" comment on Facebook by Chilean deputy Enrique Estay has generated some controversy.

"[The government is] worried about the queers and not about the swarm of concerted bureaucrats who obstruct everything, so that the benefits do not reach to the poorest and middle class," said Estay on his Facebook profile on June 2. "I will not be quiet, until I see changes! [...] It is frustrating to me. A government that is thought to be right-winged, yet it governs with the left-winged ideas and people," he added in a comment.

"Well done, deputy! Simply speak out loud, well spoken, we are only making a country full of queers and lesbians, that's the only thing they [Concertación politicians] care about, instead of leaving them alone and dedicate themselves to work for the poorest," said one of the comments in response to Estay's status.

"It seems like these energumens don't live in Chile; it seems like these persons, so sons-of-bitches, don't understand the reality; it seems like these fucking mummies [momio, pejorative word to call a right-winged person] have their brains connected to their asses, because every thinking, every word [they say] is worth like that, a royal shit (with all the due respect shit deserves)," Facebook user Millaray Essence said on No a Piñera 2010.

Logo of the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (MOVILH).
Image: MOVILH.

Estay's comment was denounced before the Committees of Human Rights (of which Estay is a member) and Ethics of the Chamber of Deputies by the Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation (Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual, MOVILH) on Monday. In a press release, the MOVILH said that "Estay's statements clearly seek to denigrate people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity, which implies a violation of human rights, as well as inciting social, cultural, and political odiousness, which is not at the level of his investiture."

Enrique Estay responded to MOVILH's comments by saying that "[f]or queers we are referring to homosexuals. The term 'gay' is a new expression which means 'similar' and is unrelated to homosexuality." He also said that when calling homosexuals "queers" (maricones), he "didn't mean it to be offensive, though I often say things by their name, as they are, and I have always understood that in Chile homosexuals are the queers." He concluded, saying, "It is my Facebook, and that's the way I used it to specifically mention the homosexuals."

Enrique Estay has represented District 49 (Araucanía Region) in the Chamber of Deputies of Chile since 2006, having been elected twice for the office. He is a lawyer and member of the Independent Democrat Union (UDI), one of Chile's right-wing parties. As of Wednesday, Estay deleted his Facebook status.


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.