30 Jan, 2023 @ 19:30
1 min read

Man in Spain’s Valencia facing jail term, fine for text blaming LGBTQ+ community as origin of monkeypox 

Spain Surpasses 6,000 Confirmed Monkeypox Cases

A PUBLIC prosecutor in Valencia is seeking a two-and-a-half-year jail term for a man who blamed the LGBTQ+ community for being the origin of the monkeypox virus. 

The man is facing charges of a hate crime, and could also be forced to pay a fine of €3,600 if eventually found guilty. 

The case dates back to May 2022, when the accused published an article titled ‘El Chueca Virus-22’, in reference to the well-known gay quarter of Madrid. 

In the text the author said that the LGBTQ+ community was the origin of the virus and used a series of offensive expressions, according to Spanish news agency Europa Press. 

‘It would appear that there is no doubt that transmission is not due to being gay, but rather due to carrying out perverse sodomite practices in gay hangouts… saunas, basically places for indiscriminate fornication between f*ggots,’ read the article, which was published on far-right website España 2000 and shared via social media.

In May 2022, multiple cases of monkeypox were identified in European countries, including England, Portugal and Spain. 

The virus had previously been endemic in some African countries, and causes symptoms such as fever, a rash and medical complications, and usually lasts two to four weeks. 

By December, more than 80,000 cases and 55 deaths had been recorded in 110 countries according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Data from Spain’s CCAES emergency health alert centre, reported by Spanish daily El País, shows that Spain has had the highest rate of cases in terms of population, with 156 infections identified for every million inhabitants. Next on the list are Peru (104 cases) and Portugal (91). 

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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