Frits Huffnagel, chairman of the Amsterdam Gay Pride Foundation (AGP), apologizes for his earlier statements about refugees on the border between Turkey and Greece. He also said in a written statement on Thursday that he regretted hurting his supporters.
Interest group COC Amsterdam Thursday morning suspended cooperation with the Foundation for Huff Nails statements in the radio program Speech makers. His resignation was also demanded.
The chairman was a guest at the program on Wednesday. “We see a child and then think ‘oh how pathetic’, while we don’t see that father behind it who may have committed war crimes and a mother behind that who facilitated it,” he said. “Those people don’t have to go here.”
A day later, AGP already responded to Facebook on the fuss that had arisen. It stated that “persons who flee their country because of their orientation must always be able to rely on the hospitality of the free West”.
“Huffnagel could have given a more nuanced opinion”
COC Amsterdam responded by saying that AGP did not distance itself enough from the statements. The board now says that Huffnagel could have given a more nuanced opinion and “regretted the outrage and the fact that this sharply expressed opinion was considered offensive”.
Huffnagel says he is sorry that he has hurt part of the LGBTI community: “Of course, I value freedom of expression. Unfortunately, on the internet, I am accused of positions that I do not have or had.” He also states that he did not expect his opinion to be “so strongly stuck on the Pride organization” and to have learned from it.
It is emphasized by the board that the statements made by Huffnagel were made in a personal capacity. “In the coming period we will talk to parties who have expressed their dissatisfaction,” the organization’s press statement continues.