Last Wednesday a scandal erupted in Estonia. Hans Glaubitz, the Dutch ambassador to Estonia, will leave the country early. The ambassador, who is gay, says that his husband (gays are allowed to marry in the Netherlands), a dark-skinned Cuban, has been harassed over his sexuality and race.
Ambassador Glaubitz took a highly unusual step for a diplomat. He made the accusations in the press, complaining in the Dutch papers of persistent racist and homophobic abuse. According to Glaubitz Estonian society is not ready to accept a union between two men, especially when one of them is black. He added, however, that overall Estonians are not evil-minded and that on official levels his Cuban husband had been treated with respect.
Before, Ambassador Glaubitz had represented the Netherlands in Brazil. The Dutch Foreign Office explained in a press release that he had been sent to Estonia in the hope that Estonian attitudes would be similar to those in Finland and that consequently no problems would arise from the ambassador’s personal life. Glaubitz will now be sent to Canada to become consul-general in Montreal.
Yesterday (Thursday) Estonian Foreign Office civil servants – who as a rule never miss an opportunity to demonstrate that it is their job to please everyone except those who pay their bills and entrust them with defending their interest (i.e. the Estonian people) – decided to patronize the Estonian people by lecturing the public about how far we still have to go before achieving “Enlightenment.”
Just when Estonian society was bracing itself for endless lectures about “true Western values” and the need to train our capacity for tolerance, the entire matter became a farce. On the same day the Estonian media reported that there had never been any harassing of the ambassador’s husband. The papers wrote that the real reason for the ambassador’s early departure was the fact that his Cuban husband did not like the Estonian weather nor the local night life. Hence he was threatening to leave the ambassador unless the latter moved to somewhere warmer and livelier. The Estonian authorities confirmed that not a single notification of racial or homophobic incidents had been reported by Ambassador Glaubitz, neither to the Estonian police nor the Estonian or Dutch ministries of Foreign Affairs (it is common practice in the diplomatic world to report any incidents in which diplomats, their partners or their families are involved). Apparently the Ambassador chose to tarnish Estonia’s reputation by slander rather than lose his lover.
The argument that Estonia still has to “go through the enlightenment revolution” does not seem to hold in an era of relativism. Indeed, I suppose we, Estonians, will never reach “Enlightenment” as long as we do not have our own party for paedophiles. Sometimes, one’s enemies are one’ best weapons. The entire incident has not worked in favour of the message put out by the “tolerance” movement. The Estonians feel abused, they have been humiliated and ridiculed, all to save a love affair. The Estonian Foreign Office, however, chose to thrash the Estonians rather than protest the irrational and irresponsible behaviour of an ambassador. While the international mainstream media bring stories of a poor little black gay Cuban among the intolerant Estonians, I have yet to see the story about how an ambassador committed libel and slander in a pathetic attempt to save his depraved relationship. I guess love really is blind