More than two dozen prominent Armenians in the Diaspora (essentially from the United States and Canada) have signed a statement supporting equality and justice for all in Armenia, reported "The Armenian Weekly" on November 1, 2013. Among the signatories are poet Diana Der Hovanessian, filmmaker Atom Egoyan, actor and producer Arsinée Khanjian, musician Serge Tankian, and photographer Scout Tufankjian. This array of Armenian artists, intellectuals and professionals felt moved to release this statement in the light of anti-gay legislation that was recently proposed, and later withdrawn, in Yerevan.
Below is the statement and the list of signatories.
“In response to repots of draft ‘anti-propaganda’ legislation in Armenia, modeled on Russia’s recently passed and widely condemned bill, we, the undersigned members of the global Armenian community, say such attempts to codify anti-gay prejudice into law are contrary to our values. We believe in dignity, equality and the right to self-expression for all people regardless of religion, sexual orientation, gender, or race.”
Signed: Nancy Agabian; Mika Artyan; Arlene Avakian; Peter Balakian; Anthony Barsamian; David Barsamian; Eve Beglarian; Chris Bohjalian; Melissa Boyajian; Diana Der Hovanessian; Atom Egoyan; Dahlia Elsayed; Houry Geudelekian; Veken Gueyikian; Nonny Hogrogian; Aris Janigian; Nina Katchadourian; Nishan Kazazian; Arsinee Khanjian; David Kherdian; Nancy Kricorian; Micheline Aharonian Marcom; Neery Melkonian; Arthur Nersesian; Joan Aghajanian Quinn; Aram Saroyan; Serj Tankian; Scout Tufankjian; Hrag Vartanian.
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So far the news. Now it is interesting to quote some of the online comments to this report. As of November 8 in the evening, they amounted to twenty and, most interestingly, some of them seemed to come from the Republic of Armenia. Here are the most relevant ones:
1) Aram Gharibian: "Inversely, these “prominent Armenians in the Diaspora” (aka: agents) should be ignored and shunned publicly.
They are anti-Christian, anti-Family and anti-Armenian. Their advice taken will crumble the family and ultimately the nation.
They should keep their advice and opinions in the west, where they belong.
If they’re unhappy, they’re welcomed to change their names, adopt their host country’s identity and culture and embrace their beliefs privately in their own families, whatever “family” they have—otherwise, they have no right to stick their noses in Armenia’s affairs.
The Armenian church and government also needs to show strength and leadership or they will allow infiltrators to further destroy the nation. Also, the Armenian Christian marriage and family needs to be reinforced and ready to stand as it has much to lose with these western ideals.
God help Armenia."
2) Movses Movsesian: "The Armenian government must NOT recognize an entity of gay(queer)people.This movement would be unChristian and ridicules our Holy Bible.As in other countries this will lead to and promote marriages of same sex couples. If gays want to co-habitate and/or perform their unorthodox behaviors they can do so in private."
4) Aram Gharibian: "Michael,