Famed ranchero singer Vicente Fernández has sparked controversy after refusing a liver transplant to treat his cancer, saying the donor could be homosexual or a drug addict.
“They wanted to put a liver from another bastard in me and I told them, ‘I’m not going to sleep with my wife with another dude’s liver,’” Fernández said in interview with Gustavo Adolfo Infante from Grupo Imagen. “I don’t know if they were gay or a drug addict.”
In the end, Fernández opted out of surgery and even left the hospital despite the organ’s availability. The comment has been widely labeled as homophobic and intolerant by government and civil groups, as well as media and social media commentators.
“The totally misplaced homophobic expression is simply a reflection of the ignorance of the person who expressed it,” said Alexandra Haas, president of the National Council to Prevent Discrimination (CONAPRED).
Fernández’s language reinforces the deep-rooted forms of discrimination that still exist in Mexico, Haas said. “We repeatedly see this in many areas of public life, and much more in private, how people keep repeating these prejudices and stereotypes.
“Cultural change is very slow. One would like people to understand once and for all that homosexuality is not a problem but part of human diversity.”
The singer’s son, Vicente Fernández Jr., defended his father, saying his fans will still love him. He also denied his father was homophobic.
Fernandez Jr. blamed the journalist for misconstruing the conversation and said his father is free to express himself however he wishes.