‘Transgender gestapo’: Vlaams Belang withdraws ‘homophobic’ candidate for film fund
Share article:
Share article:

‘Transgender gestapo’: Vlaams Belang withdraws ‘homophobic’ candidate for film fund

Vlaams Belang leader Tom Van Grieken (left) and screenwriter Jef Elbers. Credit: Belga

The Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang has withdrawn the candidature of Jef Elbers as a board member for the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), following criticism for his homophobic and anti-transgender statements.

The leader of Vlaams Belang, Tom Van Grieken, told Het Laatste Nieuws on Monday that his party withdrew Elbers’ candidature because, he said, it is seen as the symbolic stick to beat Vlaams Belang with.

“Mr Elbers is 100% suited for the job. He has the right expertise to evaluate scenarios objectively. We have put him forward for his skills,” he said. “I find it appalling that someone is now almost banned from the profession because he has a different political opinion. This is tending towards a transgender gestapo.” The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany.

Screenwriter Jef Elbers – who himself is not a member of Vlaams Belang – was nominated by the party as a board member for the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), an organisation that supports and finances audiovisual activities such as films in Flanders, last week.

Related News:

 

That candidacy was withdrawn, however, after a number of controversial statements by Elbers were heavily criticised. He described gay pride as “really dirty,” and also said that “everyone can experience his sexuality as he wants, I have no problem with that. But one should not present that as the normal sexuality.”

In an opinion piece, Elbers also stated, among other things, that “the mad transgender disease now also has Flanders in its grip,” and that “promoting [it] is a disease that affects the brain.”

On Monday, Van Grieken stressed that the party distanced itself from “this use of language, but that Jef Elbers’ personal statements are now being misused by our political opponents to dismiss 800,000 voters as homophobic. That is regrettable.”

Additionally, Elbers’ nomination last week followed news of the murder of a gay man in Beveren, and – even though the public prosecutor emphasised that the motive is still being investigated – Vlaams Belang, like other parties, explicitly condemned homophobia.

According to Van Grieken, Elbers understands that his candidacy has been withdrawn, even though the withdrawal was done “with mixed feelings.

He stressed that Vlaams Belang is not homophobic, and that everyone is allowed to experience their sexuality as they see fit, but he added that he does not believe it should certain rights should come from that.

“We believe that there are only two sexes, men and women. It must be terrible for a man to be trapped in a woman’s body, but that does not mean that whoever defines himself as a woman, even if he is biologically a man, should go and shower with the women or play football with the women,” he said. “That is a trend in society that my party does not agree with.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Thousands protest against the Covid health pass in France
Demonstrations against the health pass and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the Coronavirus mobilised tens of thousands of protesters ...
Record-breaking 770-metre highline installed in Freÿr, Beglium
A 770-metre long highline was installed at an altitude of 70 metres at the Freÿr Rocks on Saturday, setting a new Belgian record, according to ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Huge cannabis farm discovered inside closed down Chinese restaurant near Charleroi
A cannabis plantation with several hundred mature plants was dismantled on Friday evening in a former Chinese restaurant on Chaussée de Bruxelles ...
Citizen founded wind turbine project launched in Liège region
A citizen founded wind turbine project was inaugurated in the Liège Region on Saturday by Walloon Energy Minister Philippe Henry (Ecolo) together ...
Five questions to philosopher Philippe Van Parijs on Leopold II and embarrassment in Brussels’ public space
The worldwide explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, combined with the 60th anniversary of the ...
Belgium to invest in sustainable heating in 2022
The federal government will set aside about one million euros in its 2022 budget for a social tariff for sustainable heating, Federal Energy Minister ...
Anti-vaxxers demonstrate against Covid Safe Ticket in Brussels
Hundreds of supporters of the anti-vaxx movement gathered on Saturday outside the headquarters of the Pfizer pharmaceutical company to protest ...
Belgium’s investment funds total 260 billion euros in assets
Belgium’s funds industry grew by 5.3% (13 billion euros) in the second quarter of this year, bringing investment funds available to the public to ...
Brussels to Luxembourg by train in two hours soon possible
The fastest train ride between Brussels and Luxembourg currently takes almost three hours, but that could be slashed to about two hours thanks to the ...
Daily Covid infections up by almost 30% in Belgium
Between 6 and 12 October, an average of 2,438 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus every day, according to figures from the Sciensano public ...
Over 80,000 companies in Belgium non-compliant with anti-money laundering meassures
Over 80,000 companies and non-profits in Belgium are still not compliant with the Ultimate Business Owner (UBO) register, which is required of them ...