March 3, 2011

Official disclaimer statement by VO.X music group (updated)

Last summer respected music group VO.X bradcasted their new video "I love Armenia" where they presented different types of disasters and addictions, among which same-sex relations where mentioned as perversion. Unfortunately they have opposed to their own statement that was shared in the beginning of the video, which says: "PRETENDING BLIND OR UNAWARE OF CERTAIN ISSUES WOULD NOT MAKE THESE ISSUES CEASE TO EXIST..."

PINK Armenia is thankful that Aram Rian agreed to meet and discuss this issue. He mentioned, as a musician and tolerant person, never wanted to hurt anybody, and couldn't imagine how that video could harm any individual or the whole community.

We post Aram's statement below and you are welcome to make comments and write your own opinions. The statement is attached also to the video in their youtube channel, posted in their facebook page and shared in Unzipped: GayArmenia blog

Official disclaimer statement. Re: music video "I love Armenia"

March 2nd, 2011
Yerevan, Armenia

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 Rian
songwriter, musician

UPDATE May 1, 2011: VO.X frontrunner Aram Rian has re-edited and replaced the controversial portion of the band’s "I Love Armenia" music video, by removing the reference to homosexuality as “perversion”. We have reached a mutual understanding with the group and consider this matter resolved as dialogue has taken place. We no longer have reason to believe either Aram Rian or VO.X is homophobic, and we wish them success in their future endeavors.