Okamura: ‘I’d rather jump out a window’ than be adopted by a same-sex couple

Comments by the far-right politician against same-sex marriage legislation were condemned on social media.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 29.04.2021 13:18:00 (updated on 29.04.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Far-right Czech politician Tomio Okamura has taken a strong stance against same-sex couples being allowed to adopt children. The comments made by the head of the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party have been widely condemned.

Okamura made his comments during an extraordinary meeting of the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech Parliament, which was debating changing the Civil Code to allow same-sex marriage.

Okamura said that a child from an orphanage would rather stay in the orphanage than go to a same-sex couple.

“I grew up in an orphanage for part of my childhood, and I can tell you that if a same-sex couple adopted me, I'd rather jump out the window," Okamura said.

He added that those who talk about orphans in children’s homes know nothing about the topic because they did not spend part of their childhood there, while he had done so.

Czech law currently does not allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

Okamura emphasized that he had no problem with gays and lesbians, and that his younger brother was gay. His brother, architect Osamu Okamura, was one of the guests of honor at the 2017 Prague Pride celebration.

The SPD leader also maintains that he does not oppose registered partnerships, but a family consists of a man, a woman and children, and that should remain the case. “Marriage is simply the union of a man and a woman," he said. The debate on the issue was “a dispute between common sense and pseudoliberal nihilism,” he added.

Okamura's mother is from Moravia and his father from Japan. The politician and his two brothers were born in Tokyo. When the parents divorced, his mother returned with her sons to Bohemia, and Tomio Okamura was put in an orphanage when he was 6 years old.

Should same-sex couples in the Czech Republic be allowed to adopt children?

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No 21 %
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He was not the only politican to speak against same-sex marriage. Deputy Marek Výborný from the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) is one of the authors of a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union of man and woman. “We are on the side of a stable family defined as father, mother and children. … We are not debating minority law, we are debating values,” he said.

Communist (KSČM) Deputy Jiří Dolejš is one of the supporters of same-sex marriage. “According to Okamura, child adopted by a gay couple would probably commit suicide, and he would have jumped out the window. That's what I call a guardian of traditions,” Dolejš, said on Twitter.

Prague Pride pointed out on Twitter that thanks to the atmosphere that Okamura was creating, the pro-LGBT+ organization is approached by dozens of children who really have suicidal thoughts. “Our mentors try to help all of them,” Prague Pride said.

Jsme fér, an organization that promotes marriage for everyone, also criticized Okamura’s comments.

“Tomio Okamura would rather jump out the window than have gay parents. His brother would certainly be happy,” the organization Tweeted.

In a separate Tweet, Jsme fér pointed out that two-thirds of Czech people now support same-sex marriage according to a recent poll by research agency Median.

Former Green chairman Matěj Stropnický said that his experience contradicts Okamura’s remarks. Stropnický said a 9-year-old girl from an orphanage contacted him and his partner, Daniel Krejčík, via email when she heard that they couldn't have children.

"You said you wanted to have children, but you couldn't. I would go to you, because I liked you very much,” Emma wrote after seeing the couple on a TV reality show. His partner posted the email on Instagram.

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