Swedish conservatives propose Estonia and Sweden swap gays for homophobes, after Estonian politician makes derogatory remarks
Members of the Tallinn branch of the Swedish Conservative Party, known as Moderaterna, gathered in the Estonian capital on Tuesday to distribute leaflets and protest against the illiberal comments of a prominent Estonian politician.
Last week, Interior Minister Mart Helme told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that Estonian homosexuals should move to Sweden, as they’d be treated better there. His homophobic remarks were later slammed by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.
Anders Hedman, chairman of the Swedish party in Tallinn, claimed there must be some room for irony in politics. “In order not to leave Estonia empty, we recommend Helme invites homophobes living in Sweden to Estonia,” he was quoted by a local news outlet as saying.
The leaflets, adorned with the party logo in the rainbow colors of the LGBT movement, and signed by the Swedish Conservative Party, proposed a strategic population exchange.
The leaflet read:
In 1944, Sweden received boat refugees from Estonia. In 2020, Sweden is ready to receive gay refugees from Estonia. In exchange, we encourage the Estonian Interior Minister, Mr. Helme, to invite homophobes from Sweden :-) We believe that it would be a win-win case for Mr. Helme and most Swedes.
In the interview, Helme, who is also the leader of the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia, admitted that he was “not friendly” towards homosexuals, and defended his right to counter “homopropaganda.” He suggested that Estonian homosexuals would be better off if they emigrated: “Let them run off to Sweden. Everyone there treats them more politely.”
The Swedish Conservative Party sees the fight for the equal value of all human beings as one of the cornerstones of its organization. The group has been very active in the field of gay rights and has an LGBT wing called the Open Moderates.
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