Getting on for a year ago now, Armenia-British band Vo.X churned out a pop video which suggested that being gay was a "peversion", on a par with air pollution and, erm, neglecting historical sites, and should be stamped out if Armenia was to be a nice place to live:
They also seem to think they're a Britpop band, but let's let that one go.
It's taken a few months, but Vo.x have come up with a response:
OFFICIAL DISCLAIMER STATEMENT. RE: MUSIC VIDEO "I LOVE ARMENIA"You know that as soon as someone reaches for a dictionary - or Wikipedia - to parse the word "homophobia" to react to such an accusation that they really don't have much a defence. It's a bit like a racist going "how can I be xenophobic? If I was afraid of foreigners, I'd not chase them for a ruck, would I?"
March 2nd, 2011
To Whom It May Concern
I hereby state that, based on Biblical principles, I personally hold the belief that Christianity and homosexuality cannot be viewed as reconcilable phenomena (This approach was reflected within the context of my music video "I Love Armenia", which spoke of cherishing Christian values in traditional Christian Armenia).
Nonetheless, by no means does that imply that I have ever intended to promote homophobia or hate towards sexual minorities through my musical career.
According to a commonly known definition (also stated by Wikipedia), "the term 'homophobia' is often used inaccurately to describe any person who objects to homosexual behaviour on either moral, psychological or medical grounds. Technically, however, the term actually denotes a person who has a phobia – or irrational fear – of homosexuality. Principled disagreement, therefore, cannot be labeled 'homophobia'." My case is that of objection on moral grounds. Hence, I cannot be viewed as a homophobe, because, in fact, I am not.
Being a human rights defender by nature and generally a peaceful tolerant person with a pacifist world view, I would never deliberately offend or discriminate any person or a group of people. Nor would I ever cross the boundaries, set by the amount of freedom of speech and expression assigned to me as an individual.
Therefore, if it ever appeared that I was willingly offending a specific category of people through my musical activities, I can sincerely assure the persons concerned that I had never been driven by such a motive.
I sincerely regret that it all led to certain forms of misconception, I regret that people were offended by the above-mentioned video and I truly wish to settle the matter once and for all.
Aram doesn't quite explain why putting a big red cross through gay people's faces isn't hate filled, or that suggesting that Armenia cannot be a happy, shiny place while gays live there isn't calling for discrimination. Perhaps Vo.x are still looking for the Wikipedia page on why being an asshat isn't, strictly speaking, asshattery.