After the British Embassy in Belarus flew a rainbow-gay flag above its front door on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, the Interior Ministry issued a statement denouncing the U.K.'s actions as contrary to the "traditional family" and the "Christian" values of Belarusians.
The Interior Ministry also stressed that "same-sex relationships" are "fake" because only a man and a woman together can produce children, and added that the Belarus government will protect traditional marriage and give it exclusive rights in the law.
In a May 17 Instagram post showing the rainbow flag, the U.K. Embassy said that it had posted "a rainbow flag today to support the LGBT community and draw public attention to the discrimination that LGBT people are constantly facing."
In reaction, the statement by the Belarus Interior Ministry said that Britain was challenging the country's "traditional values," reported the BBC.
"The overwhelming majority of Belarusians stick to traditional family values, including Christian ones," said the Interior Ministry. "And such statements [by the British] are a challenge to these values."
Relationships between men and women are the "only way of reproduction," said the Ministry. "No matter which way you look at it, a same-sex relationship is a fake. And the essence of the fake is always the same -- the erosion of the truth."
"The LGBT community and the whole struggle for its rights and this community’s [homophobia] day itself are all just fake!” said the Interior Ministry.
“Belarus is based on the foundation of the traditional institutions of the family and marriage," said the government, as reported by The Telegraph. "For this reason, the government is protecting this union [man-woman marriage], putting it under special protection, giving it exclusive rights, including in the political and legal aspects.”
Homosexuality is no tillegal in Belarus but same-sex "marriage" is illegal. About 59% of the Belarus population is religious: 48% Eastern Orthodox, 7% Catholic, and 4% Protestant, Muslim and Jewish.