Homophobic slurs are not a difference of opinion 

After a split with his political party, the speaker of the Republika Srpska parliament called his former party colleagues “junkies, faggots and criminals”.

Tijana Cvjeticanin
Tijana Cvjeticanin Istinomjer, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Istinomjer
Homophobic slurs are not a difference of opinion  - NewsMavens
Nedeljko Čubrilović, YouTube

Why this story matters:

Nedeljko Čubrilović, the president of the Assembly of Republika Srpska (BiH), recently underwent an unfriendly split with Demokratski narodni savez (DNS), one of the three parties which have been in power in Republika Srpska more than a decade. These are the words he chose to announce that he was forming his own political party:

I'm tired of having arguments with some people, with the party leadership, about some things. I don’t want to talk about that here, or say anything bad about those people, maybe we just have different views on those things. But I have to say that I told the [party] president I can not be in a party where junkies, faggots and criminals have the last word.

After he was criticized for this statement, Čubrilović said that he didn’t say anything “ugly” at anyone’s expense -- because he had not “named any names”:

I did not mention a single name (...) This is just a disagreement and a political conflict about some opinions. If anyone recognized themselves or heard something I’ve already told them before, I can’t help it. This term means a lot of other things apart from those that you’ve mentioned.

This “defense” came from the same homophobic place as the original insult. Instead of apologizing for using a derogatory term, Čubrilović basically hinted that it was considerate on his part that he didn’t publicly “out” anyone by name.  

This was not the first homophobic statement coming from high ranks of RS politics

  • Ten years ago, then prime minister and later president of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, stated that he "won't let faggots come into my office". 
  • The statement was aimed as an insult against the then-president of the Bosnian branch of Transparency International, which at the time had published a report about Dodik's misuse of public funds. 
  • In 2013, Marko Pavić, the president of DNS and then mayor of Prijedor, was asked if he would support the "White armband day", an effort to comemorate the Bosniak civilian victims of war, thousands of whom perished in Prijedor's concentration camps 1992-1995.
  • In response, Pavić said that he's not interested in such "festivities", calling the march "just a gay parade". 
  • Calling critics or political opponents "gay" as an insult, or using that as a way to discredit somebody or something is unacceptable -- it's high time that this finally stops, especially from those responsible for governing the country
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