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Anti-gay tobacco magnate elected president of Paraguay

Monday, April 22, 2013
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ASUNCION, Paraguay – An anti-gay tobacco magnate, who recently compared gay people to “monkeys” and threatened to remove his genitals if his son married another man, was elected president of Paraguay on Sunday.

Horacio CartesAP

Despite having been jailed for nearly a year in 1989 and investigated for drug smuggling, Horacio Cartes recorded a clear victory that marks the resurgence of his Colorado party, which held a grip on power for six decades until 2008, reported Fox News Latino.

In a radio interview prior to the election, Cartes said support of same-sex marriage is like believing in “the end of the world.”

Cartes, 57, also threatened to inflict harm on his own genitals if his 28-year-old son were to seek to marry another man.

“I would shoot myself in the testicles, because I do not agree,” he said, using slightly more colorful language to describe how he would react to such a possibility.

Somos Gay, a Paraguayan gay rights group, issued a statement calling Cartes’s comments on same-sex marriage “cruel” and pressed him to apologize publicly.

The issue of marriage equality has gained prominence in Paraguay after legislators in nearby Uruguay voted this month to legalize same-sex marriage, making Uruguay the second country in South America to do so after Argentina.

Cartes will begin his five-year term in August.

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