Gay politician jibe ‘misunderstood’

Icelandic television presenter Ingi Hrafn Jonsson had some explaining to do when he seemingly tried to insult newly-resigned Progressive Party MP Gudmundur Steingrimsson by calling him ‘gay’.

“Gudmundur Steingrimsson has, ever since joining the Progressive Party, been gay. A Progressive Gay. He is in the party but not a Progressive Party man; he is a Social Democrat, if anything,” Jonsson told Icelandic radio. He went on to say that he believes Steingrimsson’s wish to set up his own new political party is doomed.

Many took his words as a personal, and distasteful, attack against Steingrimsson and Iceland’s gay and lesbian association, Samtokin ’78, asked Jonsson to clarify what ‘Progressive Gay’ really means — adding they were not offended…yet.

The chat show host has now responded, saying his words were perhaps poorly chosen.

Jonsson says he was not calling Steingrimsson’s sexuality or his masculinity into question, and neither was he trying to offend gay people.

“What I was trying to say is that Gudmundur has come out of the political closet, because he was not a Progressive Party man, he was always a Social Democrat,” Jonsson told Bylgjan radio. “I couldn’t give a damn who people love as long as they are good colleagues and good people.”

He added that it is probably long-overdue that he invites Samtokin ’78 onto his INN television show, Hrafnathing, to discuss the state of gay rights in Iceland.

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